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A Christian theology of suffering in the context of Theravada Buddhism in Thailand

Click to view the dissertation via Digital dissertation consortium
Author Boonyakiat, Satanun.
ISBN/ISSN 9781109374858
Broad Subject Religion
Summary In Thailand, the Buddhist concept of suffering, especially the doctrine of the Four Noble Truths, governs the understanding of Buddhists and influences the responses of Christians to the reality of human suffering. This dissertation is an attempt to develop a Christian theology of suffering that is relevant to the context of Theravada Buddhism in Thailand.

This study consists of four chapters. The first chapter is intended to justify the methodology of this dissertation, namely a trinitarian comparative theology of religions. This chapter indicates that a Christian theology of suffering that is relevant to the context of Theravada Buddhism in Thailand, yet is faithful to Christian belief must be grounded in both a trinitarian theology of religions and trinitarian comparative theology.

Chapter two compares and contrasts the basic Buddhist and Christian understanding of suffering. The purposes of this chapter are to demonstrate the complexity of human suffering and to critically assess the assumption that all forms of suffering are not part of the created order.

Chapter three is a comparative study of the Buddhist and Christian understanding of the causes of suffering. This chapter aims to develop a Christian theological understanding of the causes of suffering that is relevant to the context of Theravada Buddhism in Thailand.

The final chapter intentionally brings this comparative study to the heart of Buddhalogy and the Christian theology of suffering---the Buddhist and Christian answers to the problem of human suffering. This chapter gives a brief discussion of the Third and Fourth Noble Truths as well as an examination of the Christian understanding of God's response to the problem of human suffering as found in a theology of the cross. Moreover, this chapter highlights major similarities and differences between Buddhalogy and the Christian theology ofsuffering, and proposes how Thai Christians should respond to the reality of suffering.

Language English
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