Leung, Ching Sum. “True Self is No Self? A Kenotic Reading of Thich Nhat Hanh’s “Please Call Me by My True Names” Through Thomas Merton’s Understanding of Zen.” M. Div., Tyndale University, 2021.
This thesis intends to be an interdisciplinary study to integrate missional, spiritual, and theological reflection for a kenotic approach to interreligious dialogue. The thesis begins with attending to the sapiential dimension of Christian theology as the cradle of a kenotic identity from which hospitality for religious others are fostered. On the basis of exploring Thomas Merton’s Sophia Christology, the second part of the thesis turns to examine the influence of Zen on Merton’s view of self and questions related to the comparability between kenosis in Christianity and Sunyata in Buddhism. As a praxis of interreligious dialogue, the last chapter of the thesis offers a comparative reading between Merton’s prose poem “Hagia Sophia” and the poem “Please call me by my true names” by Thich Nhat Hanh. By introducing the Buddhist notion of interbeing, the thesis hopes to show how the interreligious dialogue may contribute to the expression of an authentic self-identity that reflects the concerns of the feminist perspective and is culturally competent in the more collectivistic Asia.
Thesis (M.Div.)--Tyndale University, 2021.
Table of Contents
Introduction: The gift of strangers on pilgrimage -- Chapter one: A kenotic Sophia Christology as the theological framework for interreligious dialogue – Chapter two: Zen’s influence on Thomas Merton’s view of self-identity and self-emptying -- Chapter three: Thich Nhat Hanh implores, “Please Call Me by My True Names.” Thomas Merton answers, “Hagia Sophia.” -- Conclusion: The unfinished journey towards the altar in the world.
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