Sumanto Al Qurtuby is a cultural anthropologist and a university professor. A former Visiting Senior Research Fellow in the Middle East Institute of National University of Singapore, he teaches Cultural Anthropology at King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. Prior to joining this university, he was a visiting professor and a research fellow at Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame in Indiana, the United States. Sumanto has been awarded research grants and fellowships from numerous foundations and academic institutions, including Earhart Foundation, National Science Foundation, Mennonite Central Committee, University of Oxford, Kyoto University, Boston University, among others.
He has degrees in anthropology, sociology, conflict transformation, and Islamic studies. He holds a PhD in Cultural Anthropology from Boston University and an MA in Conflict and Peace Studies from Eastern Mennonite University’s Center for Justice and Peacebuilding, among others. His research interests focus on the study of Muslim politics and cultures; violence, conflict resolution, and peacebuilding; inter-and intra-religious relations; the role of religion in public sphere; and Arab–Southeast Asian/Indonesian connection.
A columnist and a freelancer for several media outlets in Indonesia and abroad, he has authored, co-authored, and written more than 18 books, dozens of academic articles, and hundreds of popular essays (in Indonesian and English). His scholarly articles have appeared and are forthcoming in various academic journals, including International Journal of Asian Studies, Asian Journal of Social Science, Islam and Christian–Muslim Relations, India Quarterly: A Journal of International Affairs, Southeast Asian Studies, Peace Research, International Journal on World Peace, Islamic Studies, Asian Perspective, among others. His most recent book from Routledge (London & New York) is Religious Violence and Conciliation in Indonesia: Christians and Muslims in the Moluccas. He has completed a book manuscript (under contract with I.B. Tauris), titled Saudi Arabia and Indonesian Networks: Migration, Education and Islam. He is now conducting several research projects, including “Domestic Terrorism and Counterterrorism in Saudi Arabia” and “Islamist Mobilization and the Prospects for Civil Islam in Indonesia.”