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Faithing the native soil dilemmas and aspirations of post-colonial Buddhists & Christians in Sri Lanka

Hettiarachchi, Shanthikumar (2012) Faithing the native soil dilemmas and aspirations of post-colonial Buddhists & Christians in Sri Lanka. Shanthikumar Hettiarachchi, Colombo. 396pp. ISBN 9789555420303

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The book surveys on Sri Lanka's post-colonial Buddhist-Christian dynamics in the context of its post- war polity. It departs from its well-known ethnic strife nearly thirty years and focuses on how each faith tradition considers its ‘religious other’ within its own self-understanding within majority-minority politics within religions. The arguments evoke a formidable challenge to their contemporary history and invite them to revisit the core of each of their traditions honestly and candidly.
Buddhist resurgence, its identity formation, assertive claims and the more recent Evangelical revival indicate traits of a displacement of roles and an identity rebuttal as ‘faiths of the soil’. More crucially, the reactive responses towards churches and in return by the churches towards the majority as per each other’s rôle and identity, have ignited a ‘ blowback’ effect which Christian institutions have to re-view if they wish to be considered a ‘native faith’. Claims to be ‘native’ are yet to be fully owned both by the majority Buddhist and the minority Christian institutions.
Reconciliation in a post conflict environment is a head on challenge constitutive to all religious traditions as their content is about relationships and ‘otherwardness’, a measurement for integrity and faithfulness. Sri Lanka’s post conflict longing to be a productive people, progressive and pioneering in community development and nation building depends on its ability to harness the peace dividends now bestowed upon them. Many look to this respite hopefully, after years of national trauma and incalculable personal loss among all ethnics on the island. Political power sharing is still a contentious agenda as both sides of the conflict are yet to find a middle ground for negotiation. The book skillfully encircles these issues of utmost importance to all institutions on this island nation.
‘Faithing' is not planting of one’s beliefs in a given setting with less or no sensitivity, or flashy buildings and erudite preaching alone, rather an incisive option taken on behalf of citizens’ dilemmas and aspirations, because they form the social self and political life of a nation
Much questioned and the intriguing book title, 'Faithing the Native Soil' makes the discourse succinctly pertinent and expands its parameters into areas that demand more serious attention and understanding, the place and rôle of religion in society. The book examines and argues to re-root religion as a catalyst of ‘conversation and counterpoint’ in the midst of the human circle of social inquiry and political debates both within Sri Lanka, the region of South Asia and the Far East which currently seem to be the hotbed of global economic and political concerns. The book in a masterly way handles a culturally sensitive and socially explosive issue given the range of historical susceptibilities that both Buddhist institutions and Christian churches have lived with over several centuries in the context of Sri Lanka.

Item Type: Books / Monographs
Repository Version: Metadata Only
Keywords: post-colonial, Buddhists, Christians, Sri Lanka
Fields of Research: 22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2204 Religion and Religious Studies > 220402 Comparative Religious Studies
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970122 Expanding Knowledge in Philosophy and Religious Studies
Type of Activity: Pure Basic Research
Subjects: A - World Religions
College/Association with University of Divinity: Trinity College Theological School
Depositing User: Mr Mark Carey
Date Deposited: 07 Jun 2017 03:56
Last Modified: 08 Nov 2017 03:54
URI: http://repository.divinity.edu.au/id/eprint/2644

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