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"Doing Comparative Soteriology in Thailand through Abhidhamma and Requiem Aeternam Prayers"

Vimolrat Sretaraksa, SHB (Thailand)

Master of Arts major in Theological Studies, with a field of concentration in Pastoral Theology.
Adviser: Fr. Hartono Budi, S.J., Th.D.


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.

Final Defense:

Date of Oral Defense: May 11, 2016

Board of Examiners: 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.
Adviser: Fr. Hartono Budi, S.J., Th.D.

Proposal Defense:

October 26, 2015 (Monday), 10:30 am, Institute of Social Justice Advocacy Room, 3rd Floor of LST

Board of Examiners: Fr. Hartono Budi., S.J., Th.D. (Adviser), Fr. Antonio de Castro, S.J., S.T.L., E.H.D. and Fr. Augustinus Sugiyo Pitoyo, S.J., Ph.D.

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Loyola School of Theology