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Academic Research on Nepali Christianity/by Nepali Scholars

Bhandari, Pabitra Mani. "(A) search for a Nepali Christian dharma." United Graduate School of Theology, Yonsei University, 2021. Seoul.

ABSTRACT

Christianity in Nepal needs to define its identity and mission to deal with the political and social pressure it faces in its context. Nepali Christianity needs to develop an indigenous contextual theology to make itself relevant in Nepali society. This study aims to bring Nepali dharma and the concept of social Trinity into a constructive dialogue and lay the foundation for a Nepali contextual theology. This research first develops the understanding of dharma in the Nepali context. Secondly, it argues that social trinitarianism is an appropriate platform to initiate a constructive dialogue between Christianity and Nepali dharma. Lastly, it presents a constructive dialogue between Nepali dharma and social Trinity to assist the Nepali church to be part of the society and address the social problems it faces in it.

Nepali dharma stands for Nepali people's practical religiosity, the foundation of family, community, and Nepal's whole country. It is unimaginable to know Nepali culture apart from its dharma. Dharma provides a collective identity for Nepali people, and at the same time, it defines every person's responsibility toward family, society, and the country. Nepali Christianity needs to deal with Nepali dharma creatively. Else, the desired relationship with Nepali society becomes superficial. However, various social issues, such as the caste system, women's suffering, and poverty, have entangled Nepali dharma. While seeking indigenization of Christianity in Nepali dharma's likeness, the Nepali church cannot avoid addressing such social issues. Any Nepali contextual theology has to be relevant for addressing the caste-system in the society, women suffering, and the vi poverty in the country.

Social Trinity can provide a theological openness for Nepali Christianity to initiate a constructive dialogue with Nepali dharma. Social trinitarianism, which stands for the community of three divine persons, perichoretic relationship of God, and trinitarian openness toward human history, can provide a model for Nepali Christianity to develop a theology for the Nepali community and establish a relationship with Nepali society in the likeness of divine perichoresis. While Nepali dharma mandates Nepali Christianity to be transformed into a practical religiosity, the openness of social trinitarianism can help it to make a valuable part of Nepali Christian life. Dharma is made part of Trinity, where it is modeled after communion, equality, and mutual surrender. Making dharma a trinitarian praxis puts the Nepali church in a special trinitarian mission for women, low-caste people, and poverty in society.

Key Words: Nepali Church, Nepali Religion, Dharma, Social Trinity, Contextual Theology, Hindu-Buddhist Context, Cultural theology


A HERMENEUTIC OF HOPE IN JURGEN MOLTMANN'S 
THEOLOGY AND ITS IMPLICATION TO THE SUFFERING
 CHURCH


Bhandari, Pabitra Mani, Torch Trinity Graduate School of Theology 2007 (Th.M Thesis)


Abstract

This thesis proposes the critical implications of Jürgen Moltmann’s hermeneutic of hope to the suffering church.
Chapter two introduces the eschatological orientation of hope. This is done by presenting Moltmann’s concept of promise in the Bible, its history and the experience of human beings as a whole. In Moltmann’s theology, hope is the eschatological interpretation of the biblical promises, history, and the human experience. However, these do not contain the ultimate meaning in and of themselves but wait for their ultimate fulfillment and meaning in the coming Kingdom of God. Consequently, the Christian hope opens up the history for the future possibilities of God. The Trinity is God’s being in action. Therefore, the event of the cross and the resurrection of Jesus is the Trinitarian event where three divine persons love one another mutually in complete selfless love. The suffering of the Son becomes the suffering of the Father. In the process, God is in solidarity with the sufferings of the world.
Chapter three deals mainly with Moltmann’s concept of freedom, the human experience of freedom and the church. The eschatological hope is experienced in the history as a life transiting to the future. In light of the future glory, believers receive freedom which is a life in promise and a life open to promise. This freedom leads humans to experience the cross of Christ and participate in the suffering of God. In freedom, the eschatological hope of resurrection is realized in history; therefore, the human opposes death today in history. In the course of realizing freedom today, Moltmann’s hope invites the Church to be in solidarity with the oppressed throughout history, joining various liberation movements.
Chapter four provides the critical implications of Moltmann’s exposition of hope and freedom in light of hope to the suffering church. In Moltmann’s hope, the suffering Church receives God on their side in solidarity with them in their suffering. In light of the future hope, the suffering Church realizes the freedom in history, and joins various liberation movements. Since the Kingdom of God for Moltmann is open to all, the suffering Church loses their ontological distinction before God.


A Mission Strategy through the Contextualization of 
Dasain Festival in Nepal

Shin, Sung IM
Juan International University, Incheon South Korea Ph.D. 2020 (Dissertation in Korean Language)

Abstract

This dissertation argues that Nepali Christians can use the method of contextualization to participate in Dasain, the most important Hindu festival in Nepal. Currently, Nepali Christians have been avoiding to take part in the festival because of Hindu characteristics associated with it. The boycotting of the festival causes rifts and conflicts between converted Christians and their Hindu family members. Nepali Christian leaders should find a solution of the problem by using the methods of contextualization.

In Nepal, Hinduism is ritual centered and practically oriented which is mostly expressed through the numerous festivals in the society. Nepali people consider Dasain highly as it is the longest and widely celebrated festival. Dasain should not be understood it only as a Hindu festival because it has a high socio-cultural significance. Nepali Christians should acknowledge its significance in the family, society and the country and strive for its contextualization.

The researcher proposes two methods of contexualization, anthropological and critical models, to make a way for Nepali Christian to participate in Dasain. With the anthropological contextualization, Nepali Christians are able to recognize the Socio-cultural aspect of Dasain, and adopt their native culture to create their identity as Nepali Christians. However, Nepali Christians should use the critical contextualization to deal with the Hindu rituals and ceremonies of Dasain with which Nepali Christians are uncomfortable of. With critical contextualization, Nepali Christians can redefine their attitude towards contentious issues such as animal sacrifice, food offered to idols, and Tika (a ceremony of blessing family members in the name of Hindu goddess Durga), in light of Bible. With the help of anthropological and critical contextualizations, Nepali Christians can find a way to take part in Dasain and it solves the problem of isolation and separation of Christians from the Nepali society. Further more, they can utilize Dasain as mission tool to begin transformation of both Nepali Christians and the Nepali society as a whole, giving it a new meaning and significance.

Khatry, Ramesh. The Authenticity of the Parable of the Wheat and the Tares and Its Interpretation. Ph.D Dissertation. Wycliffe Hall, Oxford University, 1991. 


Abstract

This thesis seeks to demonstrate the authenticity (as dominical teaching) of the parable of the darnel (Mt 13:24-30) and its interpretation (Mt 13:36-43). The interpretation in particular is almost universally regarded as non-dominical, notably by J Jeremias and his followers. My thesis argues that the whole of Mt 13:36-43 (and Mt 13:24-30) should be seen as dominical.
The 'introduction' gives a brief survey of parabolic studies, and outlines the case against the authenticity of Mt 13:24-30,36-43. Chapter AI defends the authenticity of the parable (Mt 13:24-30). The following chapters do the same for the interpretation (Mt 13:36-43), looking at the 'Son of Man' and related teaching (chapter BI), the 'kingdom of God' (BII), 'righteousness' and 'lawlessness' (BIII), and other motifs (BIV), and finally the question of the coherence of the parable and its interpretation (BV). My approach has been negatively to demonstrate the weakness of the scholarly arguments against authenticity and positively to offer a case for authenticity via (a) a study of background, including special study of the rural Palestinian practices and of relevant Jewish theological ideas, and (b) a careful use of the criterion of multiple attestation which demonstrates that our material is linguistically and theologically coherent with other well-attested Jesus tradition.
The originality of the work lies apart from anything else in the fact that a full length defence of the authenticity of Mt 13:24-30,36-43 has not been attempted before. But we have also brought to bear various insights, canvassed in other contexts, but not specifically in connexion with Mt 13:24-30,36-43, e.g. suggesting a background to the Son of Man tradition in Ezekiel and the Similitudes of Enoch, making use of the Old Testament concept of God as farmer, explaining the agricultural background to the parable and interpretation.
link: http://www.bookpump.com/dps/pdf-b/112094Xb.pdf


Social Crisis and the Alien God: Pursuing Social Justice in the Land of Temples and Gods
Sunuwar, Olak Bahadur. Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, ProQuest Dissertations Publishing, 2019.

ABSTRACT   

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.

Fields of Cultural Contention: Nationalism, Religion, and Constitutional Change in Nepal
Wagner, Luke Eugene . Yale University, ProQuest Dissertations Publishing, 2018. 10957202.

ABSTRACT  
This dissertation is about contemporary Hindu nationalism in Nepal. I argue that it is most productive to understand contemporary Hindu nationalism in Nepal as a field and elaborate on this metaphor using concepts derived from field theory. During the period in which this analysis is focused, the field manifest as a social movement aimed at forcing Nepal's Constituent Assembly (CA) – the democratically elected body tasked with writing a new constitution for the state – to formally re-define the state as Hindu. For sociologists, this study is meant to introduce new empirical data to discussions about secularism and religious nationalism, as well as the sociology of constitutions. In addition, the application of field theory is an inductive effort meant to explore the utility of applying central concepts in field theory to questions related to nationalisms, as well as to contribute to efforts to bringing field theory and social movements theory into conversation. This approach indicates that it is fruitful for field theory to take the question of how fields change other fields more seriously, drawing on insights from social movements theory. In exchange, the exercise is useful for social movements theory in that it may offer an approach that bridges the dominant models derived from political opportunity approaches with approaches that focus on culture, cognition, and emotions. For South Asianists, and the sub-field of Nepal studies in particular, the central contribution of this dissertation is to affirm the role of the contemporary Hindu nationalist movement in shaping Nepal's 2015 constitution, and to argue that the movement shaped broader democratic culture in the process. To date, the role of this movement has been largely overlooked or reduced to either being a façade of the Indian Hindutva movement seeking to shape its broader field of power in the region or to its main political face in Nepal, the Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Nepal. This dissertation offers an approach that recognizes the role of India while also affirming the agency of Nepali Hindu nationalist activists, and one that illustrates why the field should be understood much more broadly than simply in terms of electoral politics and the fortunes of official, mainstream parties. Affirmation of this agency returns empirical attention to questions about how the movement shaped fields of power in the country as it campaigned to change the constitution. In addition, this dissertation is meant to introduce key concepts in field theory to the field of Nepal studies, with the hope that that such concepts will facilitate a number of issues related to the study of Nepal.
 This dissertation is organized into five chapters. The introduction discusses some of the broader theoretical considerations of the current study before laying out the key concepts in field theory that structure the dissertation approach. Chapter 2 discusseses the key objective changes to the broader field of power that structured the field of Hindu nationalism in the period in question, focusing on the declaration of Nepal as a secular state and the rise of explicitly anti-Hindu identity politics, as well as the positions of key players in the field. Chapter 3 discusses the underlying narrative of eternal unity and harmony that binds the field. Chapter 4 discusses the mobilizing narrative that traces the advent of secularism in Nepal to a Western conspiracy meant to facilitate Christiant proselytization. The conclusion discusses the provisions in the 2015 constitution related to religion and national identity in light of the conditions the field helped to establish. I discuss how I arrived at the question and theoretical approach, as well as the manner in which data was collected, analyzed, and translated, in the preface. The appendices contain a table with key constitutional clauses; photos; and translations and images of pamphlets produced by Hindu nationalists and distributed during the period on which this study is focused.



Spiritual dreams and the Nepalese: Attribution theory and the dream-related cognition of Nepali Christians and Hindus

Sears, Robert E., III . Fuller Theological Seminary, School of Intercultural Studies, ProQuest Dissertations Publishing, 2016. 10104552.

ABSTRACT 
  
This study utilizes the general attribution theory of Spilka, Shaver, and Kirkpatrick (1985) to examine how individuals determine that a given dream is spiritually or religiously meaningful. In accordance with Spilka, Shaver, and Kirkpatrick’s theory, this work claims that dream interpretation/attribution is a function of the attributor, dream content, dream context, and attributor’s context. Characteristics from each of these four dimensions can support or hinder spiritual attribution of a given dream. Under certain conditions spiritual attribution will be preferred over natural(istic) attribution and vice versa. Dual attribution is also possible.
With the dreams and related experiences of Nepali Christians and Hindus functioning as the main objects of investigation, this study uses a mix of quantitative and descriptive statistics, case studies, and grounded observations to identify the precise kinds of things that facilitate or frustrate spiritual attribution (vis-à-vis dreams). These findings, in turn, frame discussions about attribution as a cognitive process involving the attributor and one or more situational variables.
Although the primary research sample consists of Nepali individuals, this study examines the general validity of reported findings whenever comparable data/results are available. Thus, it is claimed that the cognitive constraints affecting spiritual attribution for Nepalese are largely operative for non-Nepalese as well. The same claim likewise applies to (Nepali) Christians and Hindus. Put another way, the spiritual understandings of Nepalese and non-Nepalese, as well as those of Christians and Hindus, appear to share much in common.

Suffering and Christianity: conversion and ethical change among the Newars of Bhaktapur

Gibson, Ian . University of Oxford (United Kingdom), ProQuest Dissertations Publishing, 2015. 10658040.

ABSTRACT  
This thesis argues that conversion to Christianity in the Nepali city of Bhaktapur is closely connected with ethical attitudes towards suffering in Bhaktapurian churches. This argument is situated within broader debates in the anthropology of Christianity. Anthropologists have debated the extent to which Christianity is a force for cultural discontinuity, and have often connected it with modernity and individualism. I contribute to these discussions by showing how distinctively Christian conceptions of suffering may promote cultural change by stimulating new understandings of selfhood and ethics. The first three chapters explore the social life of Bhaktapur's Hindu majority. I describe how the last fifty years have seen a process of cultural unsettlement in Bhaktapur; one aspect of this unsettlement has been a disruption of traditional norms of care and deference. It is in this context that the distinctive ethics of Christianity have proved attractive to some. Those who convert have typically experienced a significant episode of suffering, and have felt themselves to be failed by those around them. They find in churches a framework that emphasises the moral significance of inner experience (I call this 'inwardness') and addresses affliction more in terms of ethics than ritual. I describe these ethics in terms of 'care': they stress presence with the afflicted person, engagement with their experience, and appeal to God in prayer. After two chapters describing Christianity in Nepal and Bhaktapur in general terms, I devote four chapters to examining different categories of Bhaktapurian Christians: those who have experienced healing, women, leaders, and youth. I focus on four conversion narratives, and relate these narratives both to other ethnographic materials and to broader trends in Bhaktapurian and global Christianity. I highlight the significance of the values of inwardness and care, and of narrative itself, in the life-worlds of Bhaktapurian Christians.


Christian identity development of adolescents in a Hindu religio-cultural dominant context
Kim, Yeonjeong . Asbury Theological Seminary, ProQuest Dissertations Publishing, 2015. 3742808.

ABSTRACT  
The purpose of this dissertation was to measure the efficiency of the Restorers of God’s Good Creation (RGGC) program, which was designed for the Christian identity development of adolescents in a Hindu religio-cultural dominant context. The participants of the RGGC program were the students of a Christian school located in Kathmandu, Nepal. They were generally low in self-esteem due to their Christian religious identity because of the negative connotations of Christianity in their society—uneducated, lower living standard and being of lower castes.
The key method of the RGGC program was to have the students detach their syncretistic religious worldviews and replace them with biblical ones. One process of transforming their worldviews was to allow them to compare their traditional stories from myth or folklore critically to stories introduced in the Bible. They were given time to analyze and discuss those stories, after which they could choose a story from the two and keep it with its essential meaning in their minds. In addition, the students regularly attended school chapel every Wednesday in which mostly evangelistic sermons were preached. Furthermore, they were given opportunities to participate in community services such as collecting garbage from the streets nearby their school and feeding the hungry in the slums.
As a result of the program, a significant number of students could wipe away their previous syncretistic religious worldviews and have biblical worldviews especially concerning three areas—the Creation, the Fall, and redemption. In addition, their affinity to Christian faith significantly enhanced; consequently, they also had considerable behavioral changes. This study proved RGGC program’s effectiveness in Christian identity development of adolescents in a Hindu religio-cultural dominant context.

Life after death: An ethnographic analysis of widowhood in urban Nepal

Galvin, Kathey-Lee . Washington State University, ProQuest Dissertations Publishing, 2003. 3096879.

ABSTRACT  
Widows in South Asia were historically, if erroneously, considered to be docile and willing participants in ritual suicide after the deaths of their husbands. Not only did their own voices go unheard but also an understanding of the experience of widowhood in South Asia has only recently generated much scholarly interest. This dissertation complements the few contemporary studies of Indian widowhood with an analysis of widows in urban Nepal. Through the categories of widow rituals, residence choices, and religion, this study analyzes the choices available to, and the strategies employed by Nepali widows.
This analysis is performed through a combination of kinship and practice theory. The realms of structural influence are manifested in different types of metaphoric kinship bodies: the conjugal body, the affinal body, and the progeny body. Patrilineal structures order the lives of women in most of Nepal and widowhood represents a confounding of those structures. As women who can no longer produce members for patrilines, widows are subject to encroachments on their entitlements. The agency that a widow can employ usually focuses on protection from these encroachments, mitigating social norms that prescribe social marginalization, or a strategy of completely changing religious affiliation.
This research also demonstrates that in Nepal, daughters are important to widows in ways previously unexplored. Where most literature describes a gender preference for sons for a variety of reasons, Nepali widows fare best when they have borne both sons and daughters. Additionally, this research demonstrates that a shift in residence type, from extended to nuclear, is occurring and that this shift has profound impacts for widows.

The role of power encounter in the growth of Christianity in Nepal

Bhandari, Lok Mani . Fuller Theological Seminary, School of Theology, ProQuest Dissertations Publishing, 1999. 9923884.

ABSTRACT   

This dissertation demonstrates the role of power encounter in the phenomenal growth of Christianity in Nepal. The examination of biblical, theological, historical and missiological study unveils that one of the major factors in the growth of Christianity in Nepal is power encounters; thus power evangelism played a critical role in the growth of the church in Nepal.
The discovery reveals that the Bible is the book of miracles, and power evangelism characterized the ministry of the early church. Both Catholic and Protestant tradition retained the ministry of healing, signs and wonders, power encounter and evangelism. Though at times it is unclear in the Protestant tradition, however, the research proves that there are countless miracles that have been experienced by both Catholic as well as Protestant Reformers and theologians alike.
Despite these discoveries, many of the Protestant churches hesitate to recognize this powerful gift and ministry that was given by God to the Body of Christ. In the case of Nepal, a country where most of the population lives below the poverty level, the Hindu, Buddhist and Animistic society recognizes the ministry of power encounter or evangelism; thus, this is one of the most effective tools to reach the unreached people groups.


The history of the expansion of protestant Christianity among the Nepali diaspora

Perry, Cindy L. . The University of Edinburgh (United Kingdom), ProQuest Dissertations Publishing, 1994. U069381.

ABSTRACT
   
The history of the Protestant Christian Church among Nepali people started while Nepal was still a 'closed' country, among a diaspora community across the eastern border in Darjeeling, then a part of British India. This thesis documents the history of the expansion of Christianity throughout the Nepali diaspora as it spread to disparate parts of India and beyond. In order to trace that history, it was also necessary to trace historically the dispersion itself and its contacts with Christianity. The first chapter deals with the basic question of 'Who is a Nepali' and the historico-sociological forces that led to widespread external migration out of Nepal. Then a two-tiered region by region historical analysis is made of the Nepali diaspora itself in the context of its receptor communities and the influence of Christianity among them, resulting in the establishment of Nepali Protestant Christian churches. This process is traced from its early beginnings in Darjeeling on through the Eastern Himalayan states of Sikkim and Bhutan and into the Duars, and along the relentless eastward migration trail into North East India and Burma. The analysis then looks at the regions to the south and east of Nepal in three broadly defined blocks: the North India plains of North Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, the Western Himalayas with emphasis on the UP hills and Himachal Pradesh, and urban India. A separate chapter documents the spread of Christianity among Gurkha soldiers, particularly within the British Brigade of Gurkhas.

The Great Indoors: Discovering the Fertile Soil Where Seeds of Christian Teleology Can Blossom in the Post-Relational Ontological Turn of Newari Converts

Hurley, Jill L. . Eastern University, ProQuest Dissertations Publishing, 2018. 10981261.

ABSTRACT 
  
In the Anthropology of Christianity, many anthropologists have explained conversion through a secular or etic lens. In this thesis, I take a different approach by connecting the ‘post- relational ontological turn’s’ effect on a person’s interior space with the teleological narrative of Christianity. Using Hiebert’s ‘Set Theory’ in conjunction with Holbraad and Pedersen’s research, describing the post-relational ontological turn; I was able, in my ethnographic research, to prove that the post-relational ontological turn connects Christian teleology with the "great indoors" of Newari converts.



Culture and Christianity negotiated in Hindu society: a case study of a church in central and western Nepal
Kirchheiner, Ole . Middlesex University (United Kingdom), ProQuest Dissertations Publishing, 2016. 10671702.

ABSTRACT  
This thesis examines in what ways and to what extent Nepali Christians retain or change their way of living after they become Christians. This is achieved through a case study approach focusing on four selected congregations. These cases examine the life of the Christians from conversion through socio-religious negotiations of boundaries to cross-religious relationships and friendships. These cases are also a lens for identifying whether or not Nepali Christians connect in a logical way with the local culture through an inculturation process. The research methodology draws on primary source data from fieldwork and recorded interviews. The qualitative data are analysed using Grounded Theory Analysis which at the same time serves as a constant comparison data validation in examining internal and interrelated consistency of interviews. Secondary source data encompass literature ranging from the disciplines of anthropology and theology to Nepalese history. The conclusions reveal that, when practising their belief among traditional religious people, Christians demonstrate spiritual insight about traditional religious life. These insights provide opportunities for Christians to play key roles in local Nepalese life. Negotiation of both social and religious boundaries has proved to be challenging to most Christians particularly within their own exclusive domains. Christians have however made attempts to address any potential conflicts across the religious divide. The most significant contributions of this research are: i) to demonstrate how Christians proactively negotiate socio-religious boundaries; ii) in doing so to provide information about Christians’ attitude to traditional Nepalis and to other Christians, and iii) to provide evidence for and about Christian individual sovereignty during decision-making processes. These are new insights about Nepalese Christianity and the process of inculturation.


Freedom, Margins and Music: Musical Discourses of Tharu Ethnicity in Nepal

Dalzell, Victoria Marie . University of California, Riverside, ProQuest Dissertations Publishing, 2015. 3731835.

ABSTRACT  
The Tharu are reportedly the fourth largest minority group in Nepal. Yet despite their numerical strength, their social experience in modern Nepal largely consists of marginalization. A culturally and linguistically diverse people indigenous to the flat, southern Terai region of Nepal, the Tharu have claimed an ethnic group identity in the past sixty years in light of their shared geographic location and state exploitation, as well as the rise of ethnic politics in Nepal. I examine how performance practices and musical experiences are central to the Tharu’s group identity formation. First, I examine how the Tharu combat their social exploitation largely through musical means. I focus on the role of sociomusical practices in community ritual, its transformation through folkloricization, and extension as tools for activism. The cultural significance of these practices shift as the Tharu come into contact not only with Nepal’s changing political, social and economic scenes, but also paradigms of global indigenism and human rights. However, even as a marginalized people, the Tharu have their own internal politics. Second, I examine how musical practices are locations for productive friction within Tharu communities. Musical performances constitute intense community negotiation and contestation concerning Tharu womanhood and religious identity, and are places where the Tharu produce situated knowledge about development and modernity. While not ignoring political, historical, and global frameworks, my focus on sociomusical practices brings attention to how an ethnic identity is generated and embodied on a local level.


Contextual expository preaching: A way of forming congregations that is faithful to scripture and relevant to the lived experience of the Nepali people
Shrestha, Manoj . Princeton Theological Seminary, ProQuest Dissertations Publishing, 2014. 3643490.

ABSTRACT  
This dissertation investigates two important aspects of preaching: the importance of being relevant to the context of the hearers and the necessity of being faithful to Scripture. The thesis of this dissertation is that in order for the Nepali church—which is still young and growing—to be healthy and effective, pastors and preachers must seek to preach sermons that are both scripturally faithful and contextually relevant.
The first chapter states the problem, the thesis, and the method of my dissertation. The second chapter sets the stage for this project by describing the present state of the Nepali church and her needs as well as the challenges the church is facing, especially in the area of preaching. The third chapter provides a theoretical study of contextual theology as well as its significance in the context of the Nepali church and preaching. It points out why the churches in Nepal have been hesitant to embrace contextual theology. The fourth chapter deals with the theory and practice of expository preaching. It uses Calvin's understanding and his practices of expository preaching as a theological basis for expository preaching. The fifth chapter proposes a working homiletic for the context of the Nepali church. The proposed homiletic focuses primarily on the need of Nepali pastors to prepare sermons that are faithful to Scripture and sensitive to the lived experience of the hearers. This chapter attempts to describe the steps one needs to take in order to prepare a sermon that is both biblical and contextually relevant.
Among the distinctive contributions of this project are: first, the way in which it speaks to the vacuum created by the newness of Christianity in the country of Nepal. Second, its description of how one teaches and preaches the Scriptures to people who do not know them or have only been recently introduced to them. Third, the manner in which it will assist Nepali pastors and preachers by placing a workable method in their hands, many of whom remain untrained and are in need of a practical method that works on a consistent basis for them.

Funerary rites in Nepal : cremation, burial and Christian identity

Sharma, Bal Krishna . Oxford Centre for Mission Studies (United Kingdom), ProQuest Dissertations Publishing, 2010. 27745737.

ABSTRACT   

This study explores and analyses funerary rite struggles in a nation where Christianity is a comparatively recent phenomenon, and many families have Christian and Hindu, Buddhist and Traditionalist (kiranti) members, who go through traumatic experiences at the death of their family members. The context of mixed affiliation raises questions of social, psychological and religious identity for Christian converts, which are particularly acute after a death in their family. Using empirical research, this thesis focuses on the question of adaptation and identity in relation to church life, within the familial and social sphere of individual Christians and within the wider society in which they live, particularly with reference to death and disposal. This research has used an applied theology approach to explore and analyse the findings in order to address the issue of funerary rites with which the Nepalese church is struggling.For the need of adaptation, this study seeks to understand funerary rites of the host culture alongside Jewish-Christian characteristics of adaptation, especially in terms of the Nepalese Evangelical Christian context. It also poses the challenge of finding an identity in a wider cultural and societal milieu. The case studies and interviews have portrayed tripartite relationships and tensions between an individual, family and church or community at the death in a ‘split’ family where a Christian convert’s loyalty to the deceased and the family is tested. Participation and non-participation in the last rites create problems for both the church and the family, and some solution needs to be found. The study has discovered that adaptation of the funerary rites technique rather than of content could ease this tension in a ‘split’ family, and enhance a family and community reconciliation and solidarity. The mode of disposal whether burial or cremation, could be used and a theology of cremation be developed in order to provide a theological framework.


IS THERE HEALING IN THE ATONEMENT? A COMPARATIVE 

STUDY BETWEEN THREE THEOLOGICAL STREAMS AND 

THE CONTEMPORARY NEPALI CHURCH

  • Torch Trinity Graduage School of Theology, 2007 (Th.M. Thesis)

Abstract: 

This thesis investigated the concept of healing and atonement according to the views of three theological streams and the contemporary Nepali churches. Martin Luther, John Calvin, and John Wesley were selected because of their enormous contributions to theological academies and development of Protestant and evangelical thought, especially in terms of healing and atonement. The study focused on the various interpretations of key passages, namely, Isa.52:13-53:12, Matt.8:16-17, and 1Pet.2:24.
Chapter 2 of this study examined the various interpretations of healing and atonement according to Luther, Calvin, and Wesley. It revealed that the three agreed on the spiritual aspect of healing in the death of Christ over physical healing. Chapter 3 analyzed the contemporary notions of healing and atonement among Nepali churches. It showed that majority of the Nepali respondents viewed healing primarily in terms of physical aspect; they also did not view the death of Christ solely as an atoning act. Chapter 4 presented a comparative analysis of healing and atonement based on the views of three theological streams and respondents from the Nepali churches.


THEOLOGICAL APPROACHES TO DEATH FROM A 
CHRISTIAN PERSPECTIVE


Debendra Raj Niraula, 
Seoul Christian University, 2012 (Master's Thesis)

Abstract

In chapter one, Death is defined. Separation of soul from the body is physical death where all the parts of the body cease to function. When he fails to follow God’s command he sins. Sin separates him from God because God is holy. This is called spiritual death. To rescue man from sin God sent Jesus on the earth. Those who do not believe in Jesus will be eternally separated from God. It is called eternal death. The root cause for all these deaths is sin.
In chapter two, philosophical and religious approaches to death are elucidated. Philosophy always cannot give right answer. Every person has different experience which remains fresh in the brain. The connection of conscious states to the certain states of brain cannot be decided on empirical grounds alone. There is no same answer for the existence of the person after his physical death. Some philosophers believe in the existence of a person after his physical death and some do not. This approach puts us in dilemma.
World major religions (Buddhism, Hinduism, and Islamism) believe that there is existence of a person after his physical death. Buddhism believes that death opens the door for Nirvana (Salvation). Failure to attaining Nirvana drives him in cycle of rebirth. Hinduism believes that when a person dies he has to get a higher consciousness by performing good actions (karma). Failure to perform good actions drives him to rebirth. Islamism believes that believing Allah (God) is not enough to get heaven he has to perform good deeds while living physically. Failure to perform good deeds pushes him to judgment.
In chapter three, hamartiological approach is explained. When one commits sin he receives death as wages. There are some people who believe that all participated in Adam’s sin. We were in Adam biologically. When Adam sinned we also sinned. Some believe that Adam was representing whole human race because he is the head of human race. When he committed sin, all became guilty of that. This sounds more biblical. Man dies physically, spiritually and eternally because of this sin. There is a great need of deliverance from that death. Man has to find out the solution given by God for it.
In chapter five, soteriological approach is explained. Christ took all our sin. He died in our place and rescued us from sin. When we believe in him we get victory over sin. Though we die physically we rest in peace. We get relaxation from our earthly labor. When we die we are with God. Christ did not die just for one or elected person to be saved, but he died for the sins of the world. Now only those who believe in him will be saved.
In chapter six, eschatological approach is explained. Death is the beginning of eternal life to the believers in Christ and eternal damnation to unbelievers. God gives resurrection to both the believers and unbelievers. There are two types of resurrection. One is resurrection of believers for reward before the millennial rule of Christ and another is resurrection of unbelievers after the millennial rule of Christ for judgment. If we believe in Jesus we will be resurrected from the death for reward. It is victory over death and we will be with God forever.


A CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF THE SOTERIOLOGY OF KARL BARTH: TOWARD A THEO-ANTHROPOCENTRIC APPROACH
Debendra Raj Niraula
Seoul Christian University, Ph.D Dissertation (2018)

Abstract

This study undertakes a critical analysis of the soteriology of Karl Barth, particularly against the doctrine of Christocentric salvation. Barth presents Jesus Christ as both the elected and rejected man. Jesus Christ is the man only elected to be rejected. He takes all the sins of the world and dies on the behalf of humanity on the cross. He is rejected to die, not the other man. He is also electing God and elected man. In triune God, Jesus elects primarily Himself, not the other man; and in Himself, elects all the humanity. This creates two problems. First, originally humanity is not elected, but the man Christ is elected. x Therefore, primarily this is not the election of man but of Jesus Christ. Second, Even though Barth rejects the teaching of universal salvation, Jesus Christ being elected to be rejected inclines toward the notion of universal salvation. Jesus Christ was already foreordained in eternity to become the subject and object of the election which is revealed in His incarnation. As the subject of election, in the reconciling work of God, Jesus is God who elects Himself (the man) and the whole humanity to salvation. As the object of election, He is the elected Man who alone is rejected to be punished for the sin of the whole humanity. If the whole of humanity is elected and He alone is rejected, then it can be concluded that all men are saved from God's rejection. The Scripture does not affirm such doctrine of universal salvation. Moreover, it also diminishes human's real identity and existence, because it develops a notion that Jesus is only a real man who is elected and rejected. The whole humanity apart from Him does not have any active role for their salvation because in their place, Jesus is elected and rejected for punishment. Barth's soteriology has also the problem of rejecting various steps involved in the process of salvation. He rejects the chronological order of salvation which affects the work of Holy Spirit here and now in the life of the believers and the role of man in his calling, justification, sanctification, and faith. xi Barth classifies justification, sanctification and calling as the objective aspect of salvation. He teaches salvation is primarily and properly the work of God’s grace. Man does not have any active role to attain it. Even by faith, man cannot attain salvation. Man is already elected in Jesus for salvation. Faith merely helps him to acknowledge that he is saved. This teaching rejects the genuine and scriptural meaning of faith. Moreover, this teaching rejects the exercise of man’s free will to attain salvation and presents man as remotely controlled by God for his salvation. Barth's soteriology has a problem on establishing limited subjective aspect of salvation as well. His teaching does not justify the Scripture while dichotomizing salvation as objective and subjective. His subjective aspect directs to a narrower understanding of an aspect of salvation and limits the man's role for salvation in few factors. His treatment to faith as acknowledgment ignores the Scriptural value of faith. Since Barth's approach has all these problems, the theo-anthropocentric approach is proposed as more balanced way of addressing soteriology. The theo-anthropocentric approach explains that salvation can be attained by determining with the free will of man to put faith in the grace of God. God, from the beginning of man's creation, has given man an honorable role in His divine plan. He created man in His own image and gave authority to rule the earth. God rules and manages everything on earth through man. Moreover, the xii Laws (the Ten Commandments) are related to both God and man, and He spoke with people through the men, prophets which leaves a clue that God shares His honor and makes man His partner in His plan. He cooperated with a man in incarnation by uniting Himself in the man Jesus. He cooperated with Mary for His incarnation. He suffered and died as a man under the authority of man to fulfill the work of salvation given to Him. Therefore, salvation is not only achieved by God’s grace but also by the human free choice of putting faith in Him. God justifies the man who, in his free will chooses to put faith in Him. He sanctifies the one who willingly surrenders himself to obey Him and His word. He glorifies the one who is justified and sanctified. This theo-anthropocentric approach ofsalvation helps to understand the purpose of God creating man in His own image, giving of the Laws and prophecy, triune God involving in the work of salvation and cooperating with man by uniting Himself in man Jesus at His incarnation, cooperating with Mary for the birth of Jesus Christ. All of these clearly reveal that God makes man partner in His work of salvation. This approach makes man responsible for his salvation or reprobation. Moreover, man becomes aware of his spiritual life and the task of evangelizing the people who have not heard the gospel and believed in Jesus for their salvation.


The Role of the Church and Importance of Urban Youth Ministry in Bharatpur, Nepal


Shyam Mani Gautam 

Global Institute of Theology United Graduate School of Theology Yonsei University, 2018 (Master's Thesis)

Abstract

God’s ordained mission of the church throughout all time has been to fulfill the Great Commission of Jesus to ‘go and make disciples of all nations’ (Mt. 28:18-20). The Lord has sent the church to preach the gospel with the mission to people who are ‘harassed and helpless, like sheep without shepherd.’ The purpose of missionary calling of the Church is to work as instruments in the hand of God by serving to people surrounding us so that they might be restored to an intimate relationship to God, living under his sovereignty as his followers in this world and in the world to come. The Great Commission applies to the urban youth mission field of the emerging postmodern generations. We must not only understand the unchanging word of God but also those to whom we are called to minister. Going through the background of the study concerning the geographical location, history, population, religious, socio-cultural and political context of Nepal, the researcher has developed a field survey using interview and questionnaire to church ministers in Bharatpur and the main question was to find out whether the church is effectively focusing its mission to the youths in cities of Nepal. The church which started and developed in difficult context has had challenges to carry out its missional vocation in propagating the message of the bible. This study uses the 21st century discussion on Christian mission and its foundation is laid from the perspective of biblical urban mission in both Old and New Testaments. The Bible calls the church to be missional and the mission of the church not only focused within the wall of the church but also God calls the church to practice its whole mission outside the wall of the church. This study explores the importance of church mission to target youth v ministry in cities of Nepal with a case study of the Bharatpur city. It presents the involved opportunities and challenges and proposes effective strategic plan that churches can employ to do the urban youth ministry in the local context of Bharatpur and global context as well. As for strategies of urban youth ministry of missional ecclesiology in areas of church ministry characterized by social activities, this study proposes to existing churches in Bharatpur city to launch their mission as caring community of imparting hope to the life of urban youth for their better future who also can be the part of church community to lead the new generation in Christ in the days to come. Recommendations are addressed to the churches in Bharatpur and Christian leaders to emphasize the biblical message of service to others. Moreover, they should understand and do mission as a whole task of formation of a witnessing community, and not only targeting the activity of church planting and conversion, but also church must work as community to develop the projects for the urban youth of Bharatpur. This study comes to the conclusion that the concept of missional church theology is very relevant in the context of Nepal where the church has been violating the divine mandate of service to the neighbor as a missional church. 



Mysticism in Pauline (Thought) Writings

Bhoj Raj Bhatta
Asia Life University, Daejon, South Korea (2005) Ph.D Dissertation

Abstract

Albert Schweitzer says,
We are always in presence of mysticism when we find a human being looking upon the division between earthly and super-earthly, temporal and eternal, as transcended, and feeling himself, while still externally amid the earthly and temporal, to belong to the super-earthly and eternal.
It is this awe and wonder of God that forces the finite man to take the infinite step in order to make sense of it all. In all religions and cultures, mysticism had its place and authority until the age of "reason alone" prevailed from Europe to the rest of the world, but only to achieve an inner bankruptcy of the inner man. Theology, the queen of all science suffered mercilessly in the hands of humanists, who in turn have dehumanized the whole civilization by imprisoning it into the ditch of existentialism where there appears to be no way out of it. Rational knowledge was recognized as the only legitimate form of knowledge and theological education, gradually shifted away from its eucharistic/liturgical framework to the rationalistic base. This rational understanding of God and humanity led to a knowledge-centered theological education that discredited all that which reason could not explain. The same Bible, in which the Christian mystics of the yester years found treasures of knowledge for the whole of man, suddenly became a dead document for the mental exercise, far removed from the human emotion and intuition. Mystics became the objects of ridicule and the term mysticism or mystical lost its place in theology. Bible in general and Pauline writings in particular became the textbook against anything that has to do with mystical or experiential way of thought. When the Pentecostal movement announced its emergence in the dawn of the twentieth century, its opponents did not spare a word to attack it. They wished to do away with it mainly because their theological worldview had become so bankrupt that it could not imagine of a form of Christianity that claims to have an experience with the Holy Spirit in such a way that reason cannot explain. Dreams, visions, healing and miracles did not fit into this rationalistic frame of theology, and thus were thought to be unscriptural and heretical.
But, a closer look at the Bible reveals that God is not interested only in our cognitive comprehension of who He is and what He has done. He is the God who longed to be present in the midst of His people. He is the God who chose a certain people so that he could not only teach them His ways, but also could learn their ways (not because He did not know, but because He loved to know), was interested in their daily affairs, and wanted to be their God. When His people finally failed to fulfill His desire to be in the midst of them, He even chose to be like one of them, "emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men."2 He lived and died in the midst of His people and rose again from the dead with the expectation that now is the time to dwell in the midst of His people forever.
It is this God that Paul finally met on the road to Damascus. Paul himself was a man who had attempted to fulfill the desires of this God with his utmost sincerity and devotion to the age-old traditions of his fathers. He was familiar with the mystics that longed to find their way to this God and some had come into great heights while others had fallen into the depth of futile human imagination and contemplations. The eschatological expectation of the time had given Paul a hope for a better future in which he could be called a friend of God as it was told of Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Moses, David and hosts of them.
But on the road to Damascus, this distant eschatological hope suddenly became a reality in his present time. Jesus of Nazareth, whom he considered to be a heretic, became the heralder of this new age. God, whom Paul longed to please, stood on his way demanding his submission and Paul the master accepts it with the question of exclamation saying, "Who are you Lord?" And thereby accepts to be the bondservant of the true master for the rest of his life and eternity. Now, for the zealous Pharisee, nothing in this world could be compared with the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ,3 and God Himself was pleased to reveal His Son to this Pharisee so that he could in turn take that revelation to the rest of the world.4 This was the mystery hidden for the ages, now being revealed in the message of the Cross of Jesus Christ.
When we talk about the mysticism in Pauline writings, we are talking about a man who has not known God from his cognitive faculty, but from the personal encounter with the divinity in its all glory and awe. All his writings have come out of this awesome revelation of God, not as a distant eschatological reality (though there is part yet to be experienced), but a present reality of a fellowship with the person of God in Jesus Christ through the power and the presence of the Holy Spirit.
Roman Catholic and Orthodox church, though questionable at times, still enjoy the blessings of the mystical theology that enriches the human soul. It is the protestant theologians who have despised its influence for reasons other than Scripture. Whereas Martin Luther appears to have enjoyed its rich heritage, not only in his personal life, but also in his theological exposition of the Scripture.
Kenneth Hagen explains how Luther gave explicit "rules," for his method of interpretation in his 1539 Preface to his works in German. Luther's rules are an integration of the intellectual into the spiritual: Oratio (prayer), Meditatio (meditation), and Tentatio (temptation), the latter term best translated as "life-experience" (Oswald Bayer). This is existential, but not as understood as in the "discovery of the self' since the goal of temptation is humility's loss of the self. Luther preferred experience-oriented wisdom theology; hence these three existential rules are helps to achieve wisdom (sapientia) rather than knowledge (scientia).
Experience-oriented wisdom theology needs to be re-emphasized in this age once again and Pauline writings have much more experiential teachings than what we are willing to accept. Pentecostal and Charismatic theologians tend to lean heavily on Luke and John and leave Paul to those who oppose their viewpoint. The anti-Pentecostal and charismatic theologians use Paul as if there is no trace of mystical and experiential elements in his writings. It is my contention that Paul is no less experience oriented than Luke or John. In fact Luke is drawing out of Paul to formulate his theology, though from a different vantage point. Mystical experience in Paul is very much related to work of the Holy Spirit who enables one to understand the gospel, and live and walk as the children of God. The Holy Spirit is inseparable in the life of a believer, and helps us to wait for the final eschatological appearance of the revelation of Jesus Christ when He shall come again. Until then, just like the Galatians, we must not forget that we have received the Holy Spirit, not by the works of Law but by hearing with Faith.6 We must be crucified, and raised with Christ in order to live and walk by the Spirit so that we do not live according to the desires of the flesh, but by the guidance of the Spirit. Pauline mysticism looks to the future for the appearing of the day of His second coming. Every time the church looses the mystical spirit, it tends to fall back and be united with the world. But whenever the mystical spirit is awakened, it becomes aware of the future and attempts to live according to the principles of the kingdom of God and church becomes vitalized once again. Therefore, Luis Dupre writes, "all religions, regardless of their origin, retain their vitality only as long as their members continue to believe in a transcendent reality with which they can in some way communicate by direct experience."
Dying and rising with Christ is one of the major characteristics of Pauline mysticism. Unless a sinful soul experiences the act of dying to sin taking place in the inner most part, the rising with Christ does not take place. Scholars tend to minimize the individual importance of this experience in favor of corporate nature of dying in Christ. But from Paul's language, it is hard to remove the individual aspect of this important Christian experience. It is this fundamental event of dying with Christ that determines the quality of a person's Christian life. In the words of the Lord Jesus Christ, "unless the grain of wheat dies" it cannot bear fruits (Jn. 12:24). This dying with Christ is also symbolized by the baptism (Rom. 6:1-11). In baptism, one enacts the participation in the death and burial of Jesus Christ in order to also participate in His resurrection. Therefore, dying and rising with Christ must not remain only as a statement of faith (which it is), but must became a vivid experiential motivation for one in living the new life in Christ.
Deissmann and Schweitzer's concept of "Christ-mysticism" was a groundbreaking shift in Pauline theology. Paul uses the phrase "in Christ" very frequently to explain various aspects of our salvation. Therefore, it is not just related to "Christ-mysticism" but it circles the whole range of God's plan of salvation. Man has access to God in Christ through the Holy Spirit. Paul never dichotomizes Christ-mysticism and Spirit-mysticism. It is always in Christ through the Holy Spirit to God.
The role of the Holy Spirit in bringing a believer into the experiential reality of the saving act of God in Christ is very important theme in Pauline writings. Without the experience of the active role of the Holy Spirit in one's life, or, without the reception of the Holy Spirit as an experiential reality, the possibility of the mystical experience of God in Christ is very far. Once the mystical experience of God in Christ is diminished, the emphasis on eschatology diminishes along with it. Whenever the eschatology is ignored, the urgency of living a holy life is abandoned. Therefore, it is important for us to see that mystical knowledge of God based upon the dogmatic revelation is the key in living fruitful lives here on earth as we wait for the final revelation of the Son of God.



Toward a Dialogical Hermeneutic of a Hindu-Christian: A Socio-scientific Study of Nepali Immigrants in Toronto

Surya Prasad AcharyaThe University of Western Ontario, Master of Arts Thesis 


Abstract


In search of a hermeneutic that is dialogical, transcending one’s own realm of understanding to give enough space to the other, the theory of dialogical self provides a framework which is not only able to engage mutually incompatible traditions but inculcates a whole new insight into considering that the other is not completely external to the self. One of the most significant features of theory of dialogical self is that it is devised in the conviction that insight into the workings of the human self requires cross-fertilization between different fields. The thesis therefore employs social-psychology, religious studies, inter-cultural studies, theology and philosophy to study the phenomenon of religious diversity. Within this theoretical framework, the thesis includes an empirical study conducted among Hindu Nepalis in Toronto, analyzing their encounter with people of other religious traditions and their attitudes towards them. Complementing the empirical analysis is Panikkar’s Cosmotheandric vision which functions on the premise that the whole of reality is integrated – cosmostheos and anthropos. This paradigm helps to explain religious diversity and combined with the insights learned from the empirical research illustrates how the other is indispensible in dialogue. This thesis concludes with an elaboration of a dialogical hermeneutic of a Hindu-Christian.

https://ir.lib.uwo.ca/etd/881/


THE UNITED MISSION TO NEPAL CHANGE PROCESS (2001-8)


ANTHONY HO-YEN
MHS STAVANGER SCHOOL OF MISSION AND THEOLOGY, 
Masters Thesis, STAVANGER APRIL 2013

Abstract

This thesis is about the United Mission to Nepal Change Process 2001-8. The main research question is as follows: “What is the organisation United Mission to Nepal and the United Mission to Nepal change process? First it describes the organisation, how it came into being and how it functioned through its several traditional departments. Organisational theory is then described through a number of ways this being through the environment, the structure and the culture of an organisation. Then specifically the culture of the organisation was focused on through the interviewing of Nepalese ex-UMN workers, ex-UMN missionaries, and current leaders. This thesis is a descriptive account of the UMN change process and the effects of the process. The thesis discovered differences between the way Nepalese and ex-missionaries reacted to the change process. These differences were explained through change theoretical models: evolutionary, life-cycle, teleological, and dialectical. The thesis describes the views of the interview subjects and their experiences of the process. We find out whether the UMN change process was a planned process, and what did not go according to the plan. The concept of values was examined, comparing it to Thomas Jeavon’s study of Christian service organisations.
https://vid.brage.unit.no/vid-xmlui/bitstream/handle/11250/162219/2013%20v%C3%A5r%20Ho-yen,%20Anthony.pdf?sequence=1



Christian Mission and Natural Calamities in Nepal


Poudel, Dipak
MF Norwegian School of Theology, 2018 (Master's thesis)

Abstract: 
This research analyzes the role of Christian missionaries in earthquake in Nepal in 2015. It bases its research on qualitative research method as the tool to investigate and understand the role of church as a missional church. In doing so, semi-structure interviews are taken in order to collect data. Fourteen different people are chosen for interview – seven people are from victims and seven from the church representative. The church as a missional church and the overall role of the church in the world are the dominant theories in this research. Christianity is a minor religion in Nepal. This research tries to analyze the base of Christianity in Nepal through it service to different sectors – education, health, infrastructure and cultural and social practice. It tries to present the social and religious role of the church in society and the responsibility of the church for society. It also observes the identity of church in a Hindu majority society. It also tries to analyze the responsibility of leaders of the church. It tries to understand the role of the church in society before and after the quake. It will also try to view the identity of Church in a multi-cultural, multi-religious society where the constitution has given the freedom after the new constitution of Nepal after the introduction of democratic republic of Nepal.

Challenges for Christianity in Nepali Context
Damodar Sapkota
MF Norwegian School of Theology, 2018

Abstract

This research has explored about the various religious and social struggles, challenges, problems and negotiations faced by Nepalese Christians in the Hindu dominant country, Nepal. When we see the outer part of the society we can find the harmonious relationship among all religions but when we study deeply we can find various hierarchies in the society. Being marginal religious groups in the society, Christians have been struggling continuously to preserve their religious identity by embracing and developing their religion. This research has also uncovered the views of some Hindus members in the society about the emergence of Christianity in Nepal, reasons behind conversion into Christianity and reactions of society after conversion. Data are collected by the help of oral and written interviews and various components of qualitative research methods are applied as methodologies to carry out this research. Significant conceptual theories like identity, religion and religious conversion are studied by the help of literature reviews and later used them to analyze the collected data. In this research, Nepalese Christian societies are investigated and studied in several topics for example; Social problems of Nepalese Christians, significance of Christian organizations in Nepal, role of Nepalese government towards Christianity, Struggles of Christians past to present, reasons behind conversion, views from Hindu members in the society about Christianity, construction of the Church and reasons of converting especially poor and lower caste people in the society. Though, there are still some discriminations and challenges in the some parts of the country, Christian societies in Nepal have achieved a lot and they are successful to establish their own religious identity in present days.  

Involvement of United Mission to Nepal for People’s Sustainable Livelihood and Methods Applied to Mitigate Challenges


Shrestha, Krishna Bahadur
VID SPECIALIZED UNIVERSITY Diakonhjemmet Campus Oslo, Norway
Master's Thesis (2017)

Abstract

Livelihood is the primary and the most significant human need and is the burning issue in the global south. Livelihood is both, the factor of poverty and the means to cope with it. However what kind of livelihood and how it considers the socio-cultural, economic and ecological aspects that directly involve with in it, determines whether the livelihood is sustainable or not. Sustainable livelihood approach is widely used approach to eliminate poverty that also interrelates and contributes achieving sustainable development and millennium development goals. Nepal as, one of the least development countries in global south is struggling against poverty. Sustainable livelihood approach is primarily applied to cope with poverty in the rural parts of the country for which international communities and development agencies have been working with the state and national governmental organizations. Among such organizations, United Mission to Nepal (UMN), a Christian faith based organization and recognized as an INGO by Nepal government, has been working in the overall needy areas in the country since its establishment in Nepal in 1954. Sustainable livelihood is one of the areas, UMN working, in order to support people living in extreme poverty. Being a Christian faith based organization working in a Hindu dominant country more than six decades, with the multi-lingual, multi-cultural, multi-religious societies, is a motivating fact of UMN to explore its diaconal works. Hence, the researcher has carried out the research to explore how UMN is promoting people's sustainable livelihood in Nepal. This research is designed applying the qualitative approach and the data are collected using qualitative research tools. The major findings are, UMN is promoting sustainable livelihood by supporting in the livelihood strategies and in livelihood assets as well as building capabilities of people. Nevertheless, the sustainability of the livelihood is not ensured due to the lack of livelihood assets, chaotic political and institutional situation and the high vulnerability context, for which UMN should furthermore strengthen its advocacy works and collaboration with the authorities to influence from policy level.

“Our Hymn Numbers are More Sacred Than Bible Verses”: Forming Nepali Christian Identity Through Music


Victoria Marie Dalzell
Master of Arts Thesis, University of California Reverside (2010)

Abstract

This thesis examines how Protestant Nepali Christians shape and assert their
identity through music. Less than 1% of Nepal’s population adheres to the Christian faith,
whereas over 80% of Nepali people are Hindu. Creating an identity distinctly Nepali yet
separate from their Hindu neighbors is central to many Nepali Christian practices,
including music. Through song, Nepali Christians proclaim their faith to non-believers,
remind each other about the centrality of the Gospel message, and address God directly in
grateful devotion. These three broad, acknowledged categories are found in the song
collection known as Khristiya Bhajan or “Christian Songs.” This collection came about
by collaboration between Nepali Christians who emigrated from India after 1950, and
missionaries working in Nepal. It has become canonic within the majority of Nepali
churches. It contains original Nepali songs as well as translations of Hindi and English
hymns, creating a matrix of interaction between various cultural influences. While many
viii
of these songs are considered “old” by the second and third-generation Christian young
people, who are beginning to come to the forefront of the music scene within the Church,
these songs nevertheless feature in programs they put together, albums they produce, and
fellowships they lead. Discussing the material in this song collection and its role in the
life of Nepali Christians promises to shed significant light on issues of intercultural

contact and how ritual music simultaneously creates and reflects communities of belief.