This is a study of the Christ-hymn in the Letter of St. Paul to the Philippians (Phil 2:5-11) and its relevance for doing theology in the Asian context. Christ renounced the privilege of equality with God by coming to the world in order to reveal God’s self-outpouring love to humankind. This action of self-denial is expressed in the Greek verb ἐκένωσεν in Phil 2:7. Thus “the kenotic nature of divine love will be more clearly manifested when the mission of the Church is carried out, not in a spirit of triumphalism, but in an attitude of humility and service” (C. Clifford).
This thesis explores the theological application of a kenotic spirituality for missionaries after Christ’s self-emptying. The method to be applied for doing theology in Asia, and Vietnam in particular, is interreligious dialogue. The diversity of religions in this continent requires a greater endeavor for the Church of Asia to be inserted into this society. The approach of interreligious dialogue would help missionaries to understand the religious sentiments of other religions and to introduce Christ’s good news more effectively to Asians. Every person thirsts for perfect happiness, always urging him or her to search for truth, knowledge and understanding. Using Asian expressions and experiences, missionaries can tell the story of Christ who is the living water that quenches the thirst of those who approach him.