Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Social Crisis and the Alien God: Pursuing Social Justice in the Land of Temples and Gods
by Sunuwar, Olak Bahadur, Ph.D., Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, 2019, 255; 13860581
Abstract (Summary)

The Hindu hierarchical caste system is the root cause of the social crisis in Nepal. Some Hindus, who favor social justice, have criticized the hierarchical system. Christianity, however, became a means for liberation from the oppression of this hierarchical system. This dissertation examines how social justice is understood by different oppressed groups: Dalits, Women, and Christians. The story of pain, suffering, and a deep desire for liberation from the oppressive Hindu hierarchical system as expressed through songs, music, movies, oral sayings, stories, prose, hymns, and scriptures will be explored in the dissertation. This dissertation engages the narrative methodology as a means to reconstruct the idea of social justice. I will argue that a constructive statement of social justice necessitates an interdisciplinary approach. The dissertation explores a Hindu understanding of social justice articulated by Indian philosophers Amartya Sen, and Kanak Dwivedi. A Dalit understanding of social justice is articulated by a Nepalese Dalit artist Yash Kumar and a Nepalese political leader Bishwo Bhakta Dulal known as Ahuti. A woman's understanding of social justice will be investigated by uncovering the thinking of Nepalese feminists Hisila Yami and Sulochana Manandhar. The work of Katie Cannon, a womanist ethicist, inspires research of Nepalese art and literature in the construction of a Nepalese Christian ethic. A Christian understanding of social justice will be pursued by engaging the thinking of Loknath Manaen, a Christian Nepalese literary writer. This dissertation will reveal that a certain formulation of Christianity contributes an understanding of social justice by bringing a more complete and more meaningful engagement of oppressed people in Nepal. Finally, an understanding of social justice by oppressed groups contributes to the Christian understanding of social justice and enhances the field of Christian ethics from a Nepalese perspective.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Perry, Richard
Commitee: Billman, Kadi, Vethanayagamony, Peter
School: Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago
Department: Theological Studies
School Location: United States -- Illinois
Source: DAI-A 80/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Ethics, Womens studies, Philosophy of religion, Social structure, Religion, South Asian Studies
Keywords: Christianity, Social justice, Nepal, Hindus, Dalits, Women, Manaen, Loknath , Caste, Sen, Amartya , Dwivedi, Kanak , Cannon, Katie
Publication Number: 13860581
ISBN: 978-1-392-21275-2
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