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Parallel 11

Theology of Thungsut Kop: A Chin Contextual Theology of Salvation



Research Fellow

Chiang Mai University

The Chin community in which I growth up is a Christian community they are majority Christian. The Chins have a distinct tradition from the ancient to present day. There are various culture and tradition according to tribe by tribe. Although their tradition is oral tradition transmitted to generation to next generation. Oral tradition is one of important source for doing contextual theology today. Because doing theology is life experiences of the people, how they understand human, world, and God. Therefore, every theology is contextual theologies that come from people context. However, until now Christians in Myanmar, especially the Chins are sometime practicing American/western theology. Their theology is dominated by western theology. This is because Christianity among the Chin is impressed with a very strong western influence. In this to contextualize thungsut-kop theology is urgent need for doing theology in the Chins way. In one hand thungsut kop theology and salvation of Christ in cross is very similar in both the Chin context and biblical context. In this I would like to concentrate on thungsut kop theology is as a way of doing contextual theology. It is a very important element of the Chin tradition, which contains worthwhile values, which need to be protected and contextualized in the Chin Christians way in today.

First, to theologize, one must need to know what does thungsut-kop mean? Why it is important to theologize for the Chin Christian in particular. The word thungsut-kop is derived from Matu-Chin dialect. It is the two-combination words thungsut and kop; thungsut mean the main stand of Chin traditional house, which is the center/main stand of traditional house building. Kop simply mean embraced or tiredly hold, which simple mean embracing/hold tiredly the main stand of traditional house, it is similar in the Christian understanding of salvation that is to embrace or accepts the cross. The basic meaning of the term thungsut kop is saving from penalty of death, this means to deliverance or release from oppression, wrongdoing, sickness, injustice, and sin.

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