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Lay People in the Asian Church

A Critical Study of the Theology of the Laity in the Documents of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences with Special Reference to John Paul II’s Apostolic Exhortation «Ecclesia in Asia» and the Pastoral Letters of the Vietnamese Episcopal Conf

Peter Nguyen Van Hai

This book investigates the role of the laity in the Asian Church. Lay people have three responsibilities: proclaiming the Gospel, be a witness of life, and the triple dialogue with the cultures, the religions, and the poor. Focusing on the triple dialogue, the bishops of Asia have offered fresh ideas to address three global trends in society: the revolution in communications technologies which blurs the cultures; the conflicts between followers of different religions; and the advance of globalisation which leaves in its aftermath the poverty of the masses.


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Special thanks are due to the editorial committees of the following journals for giving me permission to edit and update several of my articles: Chapters 2, 4, 5, and 10 previously published in the East Asian Pastoral Review 46:4 (2009) 334–356, 47:1 (2010) 7–37, 47:3 (2010) 234–262, and 49:2 (2012) 107–132 re- spectively; Chapters 3, 6, and 8 in the Australian E-Journal of Theology 8 (October 2006) 1–26, 18 (April 2011) 61–73, and 10 (May 2007) 1–22; Chapter 7 in Com- pass: A Review to Topical Theology 46:2 (2012) 13–20; Chapter 9, a combination of two papers appeared in the East Asian Pastoral Review 48:4 (2011) 313–344 and The Australasian Catholic Record 89:3 (2012) 333–348� I also thank Ms Ute Win- kelkötter, Mrs Andrea Kolb, Ms Lotte Kosthorst, and Mr Richard Breitenbach of Peter Lang International Academic Publishers for their interest and assistance in publishing this work� Finally, I wish to express my gratitude to my former Jesuit professors at my alma mater, St Pius X Pontifical College, Da Lat, Vietnam, for initiating me into the sacred science of theology and scholastic philosophy� To them and all alumni I dedicate this book�

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