PhD defence L.D. Thara

17 october 2022 11:45 - 13:15.

PhD defence by L.D. Thara

PhD Faculty of Religion and Theology


  • prof.dr. E.A.J.G. van der Borght
  • dr. F.P. Porter
  • dr. C. Turner

The PhD defence can be followed online

Myanmar is a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural and multi-religious country. The hope within Myanmar is that these ethnic groups live peacefully as neighbours in the salad-bowl approach to the multicultural community in which all the ethnic groups maintain their identities and exercise their potential for building the nation. However, the practices of exclusion based on racial differences in the socio-political circumstances of the country have resulted in ethnically-based armed resistance over self-determination, freedom of religion and language, power-sharing and control of resources. The armed conflict between the ethnic minorities and the Bamar politicians in the military (Tatmadaw) government has been responsible for multi-destructive results: poverty, mass displacement, and a systematic violation of human rights. Thus, it can be seen that a coercive approach to social transformation does not bring justice and peace to the nation, but rather becomes a threat to national unity and the development of the country. The current crisis of the ethnic conflict in Myanmar does not only present an opportunity to explore an alternative approach to addressing the sin of exclusion but the contextual sensitive approach to develop a theology of embrace. The research, therefore, explores the Christian teachings on neighbour along with the traditional Chin and Burmese concepts of neighbour to reimagine the notion of neighbour in the socio-political context in order to develop a theology of embrace for the process of building peace in Myanmar. With this in mind, the primary question which the research to examine is ‘How can the concept of neighbour (Ein-Ni-Kyin) be reimagined contextually to address the sin of exclusion at the heart of ethnic conflict and develop a theology of embrace for building peace in Myanmar?’

More information about the thesis

Embracing your neighbour way to peace in Myanmar

Exclusionary sin against the neighbour is the root of ethnic conflict and the practice of embracing is a way to reconcile with the neighbour. Reinterpreting what it means to embrace our neighbour is necessary for national reconciliation in Myanmar. This is what theologian Lal Din Thara concludes in his dissertation. In it, he offers practical recommendations.

During his research Thara mainly reads literature on the subject and analyses the interaction between the gospel, the indigenous culture and the socio-political experience of the people. He applies the drama of the Good Samaritan in the socio-political context to develop a theology of embrace. Besides the Christian teachings, he also revisits the traditional Chin and Burmese concepts of neighbour.

A way of peace

Thara hopes that his dissertation will benefit church leaders, theological students, politicians, ethnic and local leaders, and leaders of faiths to find a way of peace.

About PhD defence L.D. Thara

Starting date

Follow the defence online

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