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Being Church in the Midst of Pagodas

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A Theology of “Embrace” in Myanmar

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AbstractThe Protestant Christian existence in Myanmar can be characterized by three significant phases: the first phase led by foreign missionaries; the second led by foreign missionary-trained local pastors; and the current third phase in which the local Christian churches need to be theologically and missiologically rooted. Despite its two hundred years of existence in the nation (since Adoniram Judson’s mission in 1813), Christianity remains alienated in society, primarily because of Christians’ exclusion from the national religion, Buddhism. Taking the third phase as a major concern for a theology of mission in the twenty-first century in Myanmar’s pluralistic context, where the churches exist in the midst of the Buddhist pagodas, I will propose a theology of embrace as a missiological response to the problem of exclusion.

Affiliations: 1: Union Theological SeminaryRichmond,


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