The Theology and Ministry Program of the School of Humanities invites you to the oral defense of the MA Thesis entitled "Doing Comparative Soteriology in Thailand through the Abhidhamma and Requiem Aeternam Prayers" by Sr. Vimolrat Sretaraksa, SHB on May 11, 2016 (Wednesday), 10:30 am, at the Gana Room, Ground Floor, Loyola School of Theology. The Board of Examiners is composed of Fr. Agustinus Sugiyo Pitoyo, S.J., Ph.D. (Principal Examiner), Fr. Genaro Diwa, S.L.L., and Fr. Antonio De Castro, S.J., S.T.L., E.H.D. The MA Thesis Adviser is Fr. Hartono Budi, S.J., Th.D. The defense is being held in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Master of Arts in Theological Studies with field of specialization in Pastoral Theology. It is open to the public.
Abstract: In Thai society and culture, prayers for the dead are offered for the salvation of souls of the sick and the dying. Thai Buddhists pray the Abhidhamma prayer, while Christians use the Requiem Aeternam prayers. Even when born with the same national identity, the majority of Thai Buddhists and Thai Christians are not well-informed about each religion’s beliefs and practices. Thus, this thesis aims to prepare Thai Christians to dialogue with the Thai Buddhists as a means to build peace and solidarity between them. A deeper analysis of these two prayers using a comparative theology method inspired by James Frederick provides a means to understand more deeply the Eschatology and Soteriology behind them. The results of the analysis show that the Buddhist and Christian understanding of life and death are quite different, though sharing a common concern for the salvation of the soul. Moreover, one sees in this study the difference between the Buddhist concept of salvation which is Nirvana and that of Christian salvation, the Kingdom of God, while presenting some common grounds for dialogue.