One of Indonesia’s oldest universities has honoured a German-born Jesuit missionary for his "huge contribution" to the study of philosophy in the country. At a ceremony on Saturday, marking the 50th anniversary of the philosophy department of the state-run Gadjah Mada University of Yogyakarta, Father Franz Magnis-Suseno awarded the Outstanding Indonesian Philosopher 2017. As Fr. Franz was ill, the award was received on his behalf by Fr. Simon Petrus Lili Tjahjadi, the rector of the Driyakara Jakarta School of Philosophy.
"This award is given to recognize and to honour Father Magnis-Suseno’s dedication, contribution and positive influence on the introduction and development of the study of philosophy," dean of the university’s philosophy faculty Arqom Kuswanjono said.
Father Magnis-Suseno, 81, has written 39 books and about 600 articles mainly on ethics, philosophy and Indonesian culture. One of his books is Etika Jawa: Sebuah Analisa Falsafi tentang Kebijaksanaan Hidup Jawa (Javanese Ethics: An Analysis of the Javanese Philosophy of Life). He is an emeritus professor at the Jesuit-run Driyarkara School of Philosophy in Jakarta, where he was also rector from 1988 to 1998 and a former Director of Postgraduate Studies.
Born Franz Graf von Magnis into a Germany aristocratic family in 1936, he arrived in Indonesia in 1961 and obtained citizenship in 1977, adding “Suseno” to his name. He has also been actively engaged in interreligious dialogue.
In November 2016, Fr. Magnis-Suseno was awarded the Matteo Ricci International Prize from the Universita Catholic del Sacro Cuore (Catholic University of the Sacred Heart) in Milan, Italy, for his commitment in promoting interreligious dialogue in Indonesia. In August 2015, he received the Bintang Mahaputera Medal from President Joko Widodo for his intellectual input towards national development. (Source: Ucanews.com)