The Puberty Ritual in Sri Lanka

A Comparative Exploration of Perceptions and Attitudes between Buddhists and Christians

by Paul Mantae Kim (Author)
©2011 Monographs XIV, 241 Pages
Series: American University Studies , Volume 317


This book explores the perceptions and attitudes of Sinhalese Buddhists and Sinhalese Christians regarding the puberty ritual in Sri Lanka, thereby identifying a relevant Christian response to the ritual. The author utilized ANOVA and Mann-Whitney statistical tests to quantitatively compare the viewpoints of the Sinhalese Buddhists and Christians at cognitive, affective, and behavioral levels. At the same time, an analysis of qualitative data documents the rich Sinhalese Buddhist experience of the puberty ritual, as well as the Sinhalese Christian reservations and alternatives to the tradition.
Furthermore, this book establishes that a relevant Christian practice of puberty will help Sinhalese Christians enjoy the Christian faith that reflects their cultural roots, values, and identity, affirms their relationship with God, and offers a missional witness of their faith that responds to the hearts and lives of the people around them. When Christianity engages people’s unique cultural perceptions, interests, and concerns, they can be expected to appreciate the gospel as meaningful and relevant to their daily lives.
This book can serve as a text or a significant resource for upper division undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate courses on missions, culture, anthropology, rituals, contextualization, cross-cultural communication, ethnic studies, and comparative studies.


XIV, 241
ISBN (Hardcover)
Publication date
2012 (February)
Anthropology Theology Initation Rite Sri Lanka Sinhalese South Asia Buddhism Folk Religion Contextualization Comparative Study Religion Christianity Missions Culture Puberty Ritual Rites of Passage Ritual
New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, Oxford, Wien, 2011. XIV, 241 pp., num. fig. and tables

Biographical notes

Paul Mantae Kim (Author)

Paul Mantae Kim earned his BA in English language and literature from Yonsei University, his M.Div. from the Graduate School of Theology of Hansei University, South Korea, and his Th.M. and PhD in intercultural studies from Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, California. He was a missionary in Sri Lanka and currently serves as Professor of Missions and Chief Academic Officer at Bethesda University, Anaheim, California.


Title: The Puberty Ritual in Sri Lanka