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The contemporary encounter between Buddhists and Christians in Thailand

DFG-Research Project, running from 1.12.2010 - 30.11.2013

Thailand presents itself to the world as a country where national identity is closely linked to Theravāda Buddhism. According to official statistics, 94.5% of the population is Buddhist, 4.6% Muslim, and 0.72% Christian. 

In recent years, the relationship between Buddhism and Islam in Thailand has received international scholarly attention, mainly in relation to separatist conflicts in the South. There is, however, little documentation on the contemporary encounter between Buddhists and the small Christian minority. The project will seek to fill this research gap. 

The focus of the project will be on the encounter between Buddhists and Protestant Christians. A number of case studies will be undertaken to examine the kinds of interaction that take place, including cases related to theological dialogue and to the daily life of the rural poor. 

A monograph about the encounter, in English, will be written. Its findings will contribute new insights to the wider academic field of Buddhist-Christian studies. 

Researcher: Dr. Kenneth Fleming


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