Participating In and Witnessing to Triune Hospitality: Toward a Theology of Interreligious Engagement
This study seeks to establish the interreligious engagement of Christians as a community anchoring its identity and mission in the hospitality of God. It attempts to overcome both the isolationism and relativism in interreligious relations by recentering the focus from the usual discussion on the eternal destiny of individuals to the triune hospitality demonstrated in creation, redemption and consummation. Firstly, it argues that the church is to participate in the creation hospitality doxologically, sapentially, and eschatologically. Such participation allows the church to discern the "trinitarian vestiges" in other religions including the songs and sighs of life. It urges the church to share the resources, responsibility and wisdom with their neighbors while focusing on its particular prophetic pilgrimage amidst all the beauty and disruption of nature and life. Secondly, it argues that the church is to participate in redemption hospitality in the history of Jesus Christ and witness to that hospitality in corresponding postures toward its neighbors including identification, receiving, learning, reaching, and embracing. And lastly, the study reaffirms the cosmic scope of the Spirit's activity: to consummate history, to transfigure life and the world, and to effect judgment on everything in order to purify, to transform and to glorify. In such light, the church is to engage fully in the Spirit's mission in the world with constant respect for the eschatological distance, a contextualized effort to discern the spiritualities of the diverse mission fields, and it is to faithfully work to narrow the dissonance gaps. The study moves the discussion beyond interreligious dialogue to guide and to motivate a holistic, multi-faceted relationship with neighbors of other faiths. Instead of bracketing the trinitarian understanding of God, it employs this unique doctrine of Christianity to bear with the challenges of religious pluralism. The study has ecumenical Christianity in perspective, often with special focus on evangelicals, and when appropriate relates to Vietnamese evangelicals.
Doctor of Philosophy in Theology (PhD in Theology)
Hospitality, Protestant churches, Christianity and other religions, Religious pluralism, Trinity
Missions and World Christianity