Lynn de Silva

Infobox Person
name = Lynn Alton de Silva


image_size =
caption = de Silva in the 1970's
birth_name =
birth_date = 16 June 1919
birth_place = flagicon|Sri Lanka Colombo, Sri Lanka
death_date = 22 May 1982
death_place = Colombo, Sri Lanka
death_cause = Cardiac Arrest
resting_place = Colombo, Sri Lanka
resting_place_coordinates =
residence = 490/5, Havelock Road, Colombo 6
nationality = Sri Lankan
known_for = Buddhist-Christian Dialogue
education =
alma_mater = Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York (S.T.M), University of Birmingham (M.A), Serampore College (B.D.,Th.D)
employer =
occupation = Methodist minister and Director of the Ecumenical Institute for Study and Dialogue
home_town = Colombo, Sri Lanka
title = Reverend Doctor
salary =
networth =
height =
weight =
term =
predecessor =
successor =
party =
boards =
religion = Methodist Christian
spouse = Lakshmi de Silva
partner =
children = Lahan Jayalath de Silva, Lalith Chrishantha de Silva, Shiromi Priyala Rodrigo and Shantha Asiri de Silva
parents = John de Silva and Clara de Silva
relations = Siblings: Fred de Silva, Roy de Silva, Denzil de Silva, Eric de Silva, Hugh de Silva and Pearl de Silva.
In-laws: Wimal Mendis, Lilamani Mendis, Jayasiri Mendis, Langanee Mendis, Srimathi Wijeratne, Cecili de Silva, Eunice de Silva, Annie de Silva and Christobell de Silva


website =
footnotes =
Lynn Alton de Silva (16 June 1919 - 22 May 1982) was a Sri Lankan theologian and Methodist minister. He was founder and editor of one of the first theological journals on Buddhist-Christian encounter called "Dialogue" (1961 - 1981),Citation
year=2003
volume=9
issue=2
first=Perry
last= De icon
title=Buddhism and Christianity: Antagonistic or Complementary?
journal= Studies in World Christianity
publisher =
place =
url =
pages=265-279
] chief translator of the Old Testament of the Bible into the "New Sinhala Bible" (1973 - 1982), and director of the Ecumenical Institute for Study and Dialogue (formerly Study Center for Religion and Society) in Sri Lanka (1962 - 1982).Citation
year=1983
volume=3
title=Lynn A. de Silva (1919-1982)
journal= Buddhist-Christian Studies
publisher = University of Hawai'i Press
place = Hawai'i, U.S.A.
url = http://www.jstor.org/pss/1389922
pages=157-158
] Citation
last=Pieris S.J.
first= Aloysius
year=1982
issue=
volume=9
title = Rev. Dr. Lynn A. de Silva: A Tribute
publisher = Ecumenical Institute for Study and Dialogue
journal =Dialogue
place =
url =
pages=1-3
] Lynn de Silva is considered to be the foremost Christian practitioner of Buddhist-Christian dialogue in Sri Lanka during his generation, [At least one source refers to Lynn de Silva as the foremost practitioner of Buddhist-Christian dialogue in Sri Lanka during his generation, and numerous other sources refer to Lynn de Silva as one of the pioneers of Buddhist-Christian dialogue in Sri Lanka and in the world. Some of the sources that indicate de Silva's standing in the Buddhist-Christian interfaith community are the following. (1) In his Th.D. thesis Harv|de Alwis|1982|pp=29, de Alwis states the following in his discussion of the "Nairobi debate" in 1975 on interfaith dialogue: "It is in this context that we must take note of the contribution made by Lynn A. de Silva, who was one of the leading voices for the Asian viewpoint". Furthermore, de Alwis makes the following statement, in relation to the dialogue that was taking place since 1963 between Buddhists and Christians in Sri Lanka: "Not only is De Silva the foremost Christian leader in this dialogue..."Harv|de Alwis|1982|pp=34. (2) In Harv|Schmidt-Leukel|2006|pp=81, De icon states: "...Such issues were crucial themes in Japan as well as in Sri Lanka in the early 1960s when the contemporary inter-religious dialogue with Buddhism was formed. Pioneer dialogues took place between Lynn de Silva and Buddhist leaders in Sri Lanka"; moreover, in Harv|Schmidt-Leukel|2005, Schmidt-Leukel refers to Lynn de silva as "one of the great pioneer of Buddhist Christian dialogue." (3) The Buddhist-Christian Studies journal Harv|Buddhist-Christian Studies|1983|pp=157 states: "Undoubtedy the leading promoter of Buddhist-Christian dialogue in Sri Lanka during his generation, Lynn de Silva is an important contrast to the hostility that marked Buddhist-Christian relations a century earlier". (4) In Harv|Ariarajah|1991|pp=132, under the section titled "Dialogue Affirmed --- Kandy 1967", Ariarajah states: "Kandy marked a new departure regarding relationships between Christianity and other faiths." which he immediately follows with the footnote: "...Among those who presented the main papers were Kenneth Cragg, Lynn de Silva, and J. Blauw". (5) In Harv|Mitchell|1980|pp=543, Mitchell states: "Dr. de Silva as Director of the Study Center for Religion and Society at Colombo is one of the foremost Christian practitioners of the dialog with Buddhists". (6) In Harv|England|1988|pp=55, under the section titled "Dialogue as mutual exploration", England states: "...The significant difference here is that the historical and religious experience of a particular people is both respected and received, and creative Christian response is made in pastoral dialogue with that experience and in mutual learning. Among those who have led in this field have been Paul Devanandan (1901-1962) and Stanley Samartha - India, Doi Masatoshi (1907-) - Japan, Lynn de Silva (d. 1982) and Aloysius Pieris - Sri Lanka". (7) In Harv|Dyrness|1990|pp=132, Dyrness states: "Sri Lanka has a unique history and exhibits perhaps the purest form of Buddhism in Asia. Recent interaction with this tradition has thrown interesting light on the theology of the person. A Methodist theologian, Lynn A. de Silva, was among the first to probe deeply in this tradition and to demonstrate a more serious interaction with Scripture". (8) In Harv|Ford, David and Muers, Rachel|2005|pp=691,692, Ford et. al. state "A number of East Asian and South Asian theologians have engaged in theological dialogue with Buddhism as a means of reinterpreting Christian faith in the thought forms of their cultures. Among the most articulate are Seiichi Yagi, Masaaki Honda, and Lynn A. de Silva". (9) In her Ph.D. thesis Harv|Niles|1998|pp=64, Niles states "There is no question that de Silva is as fine a scholar of Buddhism as Kraemer is of Islam,...". (10) In Harv|Yong|2008|pp=82, Yong states the following in regards to how Buddhist-Christian dialogue has called into question basic theistic assumptions of non-Buddhist religions, because of the non-theistic Buddhist worldview: "At the forefront here are people such as Lynn de Silva, Michael Von Brock, Perry Schmidt-Leukel, John P. Keenan, and others". (11) In Harv|Veilleux|1985, Veilleux refers to Lynn de Silva as a "pioneer of Dialogue in Sri Lanka" along with Aloysius Pieris. (12) In Harv|Lai|2001, Lai et. al. refer to Lynn de Silva and Aloysius Pieris as the most important dialogue partners in Sri Lanka over the past four decades. (13) In Harv|England|2002, England states the following: "Notable among Asian theologians in this period are Paul Devanandan and D.S. Amalorpavadas (India), Lynn de Silva and Yohan Devananda (Sri Lanka)". ] and considered a pioneer in the dialogue among Christians and Buddhists.Citation
first= Perry (Ed.)
last= Schmidt-Leukel
year=2006
volume=
isbn=0754654435
title = Buddhism, Christianity and the Question of Creation: Karmic Or Divine?
publisher = Ashgate Publishing
place =
url =
pages=81
] [Citation
first= Perry (Ed.)
last= Schmidt-Leukel
year=2005
volume=
isbn=
journal = Buddhism and Christianity in Dialogue (The Gerald Weisfeld Lectures 2004)
publisher = SCM Press
place =
url =
pages=12
] Citation
first= S. Wesley
last= Ariarajah
year=1991
volume=
isbn=9051832060
title = Hindus and Christians: A Century of Protestant Ecumenical Thought
publisher = Rodopi
place = The Netherlands
url = http://books.google.com.au/books?id=fyhEZVMOl9IC
pages=132,148
] Citation
first=
last= Ford, David and Muers, Rachel
year=2005
volume=
isbn=1405102772
title = The Modern Theologians: An Introduction to Christian Theology Since 1918
publisher = Blackwell Publishing
place =
url =
pages=692
] Citation
year=1980
issue=4
volume=30
first= Donald W.
last=Mitchell
title = (Review) The Problem of the Self in Buddhism and Christianity by Lynn A. de Silva
journal = Philosophy East and West
publisher =University of Hawaii Press
place =
url = http://www.jstor.org/stable/1398982
pages=542-544
] [Citation
year=1988
issue=
volume=14
pages=55-62
first= John C.
last=England
title = Towards the Charting of Asian Theologies
journal = Inter-Religio
publisher =
place =
url = http://www.nanzan-u.ac.jp/SHUBUNKEN/publications/miscPublications/I-R/pdf/14-England.pdf
] [Citation
year=1990
issue=
volume=
pages=132
first= William A.
last=Dyrness
title = Learning about Theology from the Third World
journal =
publisher =Zondervan
isbn=0310209714
place =
url =
] Citation
year=1982
issue=
volume=
pages=
first= Tissa Brian
last=de Alwis
title = Christian-Buddhist Dialogue in the Writings of Lynn A. de Silva
journal = Th.D. Thesis
publisher = University Microfilms International
isbn=
place = Andrews University, U.S.A.
url =
] Citation
year=2008
issue=
volume=
pages=82
first= Amos
last= Yong
title = Hospitality and the Other: Pentecost, Christian Practices, and the Neighbor (Faith Meets Faith Series)
journal =
publisher = Orbis Books
isbn= 1570757720
place =
url =
] [Citation
year=1985
issue=
volume=16
pages=215-225
first= Armand
last= Veilleux
title = New Pilgrims or Cultural Gyrovagues?
journal = Monastic Studies (In Honour of Dom Jean Leclercq)
publisher =
isbn=
place =
url =
] [Citation
year=2001
issue=
volume=
first= Whalen and Von Bruck, Michael
last= Lai
title = Christianity and Buddhism: A Multicultural History of Their Dialogue (Faith Meets Faith Series)
journal =
publisher = Orbis Books
pages=41
isbn= 1-57075-362-8
place = Maryknoll, New York, U.S.A.
url =
] Citation
year=2002
issue=
volume=1
first= John C. and Kuttianimattathil, Jose and Mansford, John and Quintos, Lily A. and Suh Kwang-Sun, David and Wickeri, Janice
last= England
title = Asian Christian Theologies: A Research Guide to Authors, Movements, Sources. Volume 1: Asia Region, South Asia, Austral Asia. (Asian Christian Theologies)
journal =
publisher = ISPCK in Assoc. with Claretian Publishers
pages=118
isbn=
place = 1-57075-481-0
url =
] Lynn de Silva and his brothers Fred de Silva and Denzil de Silva are considered to be among the most significant Methodist writers during the period 1931 - 1964 in Sri Lanka.Citation
year=1971
issue=
volume=
pages=531
last= Small
first=Walter J. T.
title = A History of the Methodist Church in Ceylon, 1814-1964
journal =
publisher =Wesley Press
place =
url =
] [Quoted from Harv|Small|1971|pp=531: "Fred, who was for over 10 years Editor of “Methodist Witness” (Sinhalese) as well as of the Church Record, has had two books published by the C.l.S., “Christhiani Wivahaya” and “Vishudi Kamaya” and one by Gunasena’s, “Why to People Suffer?”, as well as a number pf pamphlets, including “Trouble in God’s world”. Denzil has written “Sohon Ethara”".]

Lynn de Silva's book titled "Buddhism: Beliefs and Practices in Sri Lanka" Harv|de Silva|1974 is widely cited in religious literature (e.g., [Citation
year=1999
issue=
first= Frederick Hok-ming Cheung, Ming-chiu Lai (Eds.)
last=
publisher= BRILL
journal= Politics and Religion in Ancient and Medieval Europe and China
isbn = 9622018505
url = http://www.brill.nl/product_id9609.htm
pages=72
] [Citation
year=2004
issue=
first= Donald K.
place =
last= Swearer
publisher= Princeton University Press
journal= Becoming the Buddha: The Ritual of Image Consecration in Thailand
isbn = 0691114358
url =
pages=
] [Citation
year=1997
issue=
first=Mahinda
last= Deegalle
place =
publisher=
volume=4
title=A Bibliography on Sinhala Buddhism
journal= Journal of Buddhist Ethics
issn = 1076-9005
url = http://jbe.la.psu.edu
pages=216-56
] [Citation
year=1984
issue=1
first=Bryan
last= Pfaffenberger
place =
publisher=
volume=16
title=Fourth World Colonialism, Indigenous Minorities And Tamil Separatism In Sri Lanka
journal= Bulletin of Concerned Asian Scholars
issn = 1076-9005
url = http://jbe.la.psu.edu
pages=15
] [Citation
year=2001
issue=
first=David
last= Turpie
place = Montreal, Quebec
publisher= McGill University
volume=16
title=Wesak And The Re-Creation of Buddhist Tradition
journal= Master's Thesis
issn =
url = http://www.mrsp.mcgill.ca/reports/pdfs/Wesak.pdf
pages=11,12,21
] [Citation
year=1978
issue=
first=Nathan
last= Katz
place = Kandy, Sri Lanka
publisher= Buddhist Publication Society
volume=257
title=Meanderings of the Wheel of Dhamma
journal=
issn =
url =
pages=http://www.bps.lk/wheels_library/wh_257.html
] [Citation
year=1990
issue=
first=Nathan
last= Katz
place = Delhi
publisher= Motilal Banarsidass Publishers
volume=
title=Buddhist Images of Human Perfection: The Arahant of the Sutta Pitaka Compared with the Bodhisattva and the Mahasiddha
journal=
isbn = 8120806476
url =
pages=177
] ), and it was considered in the early 1980s to be unparalleled as an introduction to Buddhism in Sri Lanka. His most notable contribution to theology is a book titled "The Problem of the Self in Buddhism and Christianity" Harv|de Silva|1979, in which he points out an age-old misconception held by Buddhists and Christians that the notion of an immortal soul is a biblical teaching. This book is considered to be one of the classics in Buddhist-Christian dialogue, and it has become well known among those actively involved in this dialogue. The book was included in John Hick's "Library of Philosophy and Religion" series.

In addition to being the director of the Ecumenical Institute, de Silva was Executive President of the "Presidium of the National Council for Religion and Peace" in Sri Lanka (1979-1980), and he participated for twenty years in the dialogical and ecumenical activities of the World Council of Churches, where he served as a member of the "Committees of the World Council of Churches", which focused on the Christian approach to other faiths. Works by de Silva includes books and articles, theological and non-theological, in English and Sinhalese. In addition to his proficiency in English and Sinhalese, he was familiar with Greek and Hebrew, and literate in Pali.Citation
year=1998
issue=
volume=
pages=50
first= Damayanthi Mercy Arulratnum
last= Niles
title = Religion and the Christian Faith in South Asia: A Critical Enquiry into the Writings of Hendrik Kraemer, Lynn de Silva & M. M. Thomas with Regard to the use of Understandings of Religion in the Theological Task
journal = Ph.D. Thesis
publisher = University Microfilms International
isbn=
place = University of Chicago, U.S.A.
url =
]

Family, Education and Career

Lynn de Silva was born to a Methodist family in Kurana, in Katunayake, Sri Lanka on 16 June 1919.Harv|Small|1971|pp=615] His father, John de Silva, was a Methodist minister,Harv|Small|1971|pp=616] and his mother, Clara de Silva, was a housewife. Lynn de Silva was the second youngest out of one sister: Pearl de Silva, and five brothers: Fred de Silva, Roy de Silva, Denzil de Silva, Eric de Silva and Hugh de Silva. Little is known about Lynn de Silva's childhood, except that he had a Christian upbringing, growing up under the influence of pious parents.Citation
year=1982
issue=
volume=
pages=
first=
last=
title = Orbituary - Rev. Dr. Lynn A. de Silva
journal = Methodist Conference Report
publisher =
isbn=
place =
url =
] Lynn de Silva and three of his brothers -- Fred, Denzil and Roy -- grew up to become Methodist ministers. Hugh de Silva died whilst studying to be ordained.

Education

, Kalahe, Mutwal and Seeduwa; he served a total of two years at the first two stations, half a year at Kandy, two years at Kalahe, three years at Mutuwal, and three and half years at Seeduwa. In September 1950, de Silva was ordained as a Methodist minister.Harv|de Alwis|1982|pp=35]

A few months after being ordained, Lynn de Silva married Lakshmi Mendis, on 3 February 1951,Citation
year=1981
volume=125
series=1
title=Mrs. Lakshmi de Silva
journal= Sri Lanka Methodist Church Record
publisher = Ceylon Business Appliances Limited
place = Colombo, Sri Lanka
url =
pages=14-15
] at the Colpetty Methodist Church in Colombo. Toward the end of the year, Lynn and Lakshmi had their first son, Lahan Jayalath de Silva, on 16 November 1951.

Starting from the 1950s, de Silva pursued his tertiary education. He obtained a Bachelor of Divinity (B.D.) degree from Serampore College in India, a Master of Sacred Theology (S.T.M.) degree at the Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York, a Diploma in Buddhism with a specialisation in Theravada Buddhism from the Vidyalankara University in Sri Lanka, a Master of Arts (M.A.) degree from University of Birmingham in England, and a Doctor of Theology (Th.D.) degree from Serampore College. He also took a study course in Mahayana Buddhism at the Vidyodaya University in Sri Lanka. During his studies, Lynn and Lakshmi had their second son, Lalith Chrishantha de Silva, on 16 September 1954.

Career

Lynn de Silva's pioneering work in Buddhist-Christian dialogue, and his work in Bible translation, began in the early 1960s, after he had completed his service at Seeduwa. In 1962, de Silva was appointed to serve the National Christian Council at the Study Centre for Religion and Society in Wellawatte, which later became the Ecumenical Institute for Study and Dialogue -- an important center for Buddhist studies. It was shortly before starting work at the Study Center that Lynn and Lakshmi had their third child, Shiromi Priyala de Silva (later Rodrigo), on 3 September 1961.

Whilst managing the Study Center, de Silva was appointed co-translator of the "Sinhala Bible Revision Committee" in 1964.Citation
year=1983
volume=
series=
title= A Service of Thanksgiving and Dedication on the Publication of the New Sinhala Interconfessional Bible
journal=
publisher = Under the auspices of The Ceylon Bible Society and The Catholic Bishops' Conference
place = Colombo, Sri Lanka
url =
pages=
] The committee consisted of around 40 scholars, including Protestant and Roman Catholic clergy, Buddhist monks, and academics. From 1964 to 1973, the committee focused on translating the Hebrew version of the New Testament of the Bible into Sinhalese. In the same year in which de Silva started working with the translation committee, Lynn and Lakshmi had their last child and third son, Shantha Asiri de Silva, on 6 March 1964.

Around the age of fifty, in the late 1960s, de Silva experienced a severe heart attack. During his recovery, Lakshmi managed the home, watched over his health, and moderated his appointments. Furthermore, she guided the work at the Study Center by handling most of the administrative duties, organisation of conferences, and publication related tasks. She continued to take these responsibilities even after de Silva's recovery, so that he could focus on his research, writing and travel.

.

After his return to Sri Lanka, de Silva continued with Bible translation work, and he was appointed chief translator of the Old Testament into Sinhala in 1973. Rev. Aloysius Peiris S.J. states the following in relation to de Silva's new position as chief translator:

Lakshmi de Silva also played an important role in the Bible translation work. After three months of training, she was appointed secretary of the translation committee. Her role in the committee involved technical work such as proofreading, and clerical work such as typing and dealing with the press. She possessed sufficient knowledge in Greek and Hebrew to be able to check the accuracy and consistency of the Bible translation, which she continued at a full-time capacity even after she had fallen ill towards the latter part of her life. With the experience she had gained, Lakshmi compiled valuable material for use in future bible translations. Although she possessed the skills necessary to become a scholar in her own right, she was content to take a back seat in order to support her husband's work. She died in 1980, just over a year before the "Sinhala Bible" translation was completed.

(WCC) that focuses on the Christian approach to other faiths. In particular, he was a WCC committee member (Paris 1962, Geneva 1967 and 1973); a member of the working committee of the Division of World Mission and Evangelism (Mexico 1963, Zurich 1966 and Cantebury 1969); and member of the working committee on Dialogue with Faiths and Ideologies (DFI) since 1969.Harv|de Alwis|1982|pp=32] Some of his other significant ecumenical activities were visits to Buddhist study centres in Germany, England and the U.S.A., and study tours of Buddhism in Burma, Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan.

Lynn de Silva's quest for unity stretched beyond his dialogue with Buddhists. He was among a group of people that led the movement for the "contextualisation and inculturation of the Gospel", and also among those who "advocated and struggled for Church Union in Sri Lanka". After interracial riots in 1977 between the Sinhalese and Tamils, de Silva became deeply involved in issues of unity and reconciliation between the two cultures. He led a team of Sinhalese leaders for dialogue with the Tamils in Jaffna, and wrote articles on the history of the conflict as well as his analysis of it, in an effort to promote interracial understanding. In 1979, de Silva was appointed to the Presidium of the National Council for Religion and Peace in Sri Lanka, where he was Executive President for one year. Some of his other non-ecumenical activities included serving as Editor of the "Methodist Witness" and "Suba Hasun" Sinhalese journals, and the "Christian News Bulletin" journal.

Lynn de Silva's interests included writing Sinhalese short stories (e.g., "Premaoushadaya" Harv|de Silva|1952a and "Premaye Rahasa" Harv|de Silva|1952b) and painting. One of his paintings had appeared at an exhibit held at the [http://www.theertha.com/htm/lianelwent_galleri.htm Lionel Wendt Gallery] in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

History of Buddhist-Christian Relations in Sri Lanka

Ever since the 16th century, during colonisations of Sri Lanka by the Portuguese, Dutch and English, Christian missionaries had attempted to convert the Buddhist population into Christianity, with the general belief during this period being that there was nothing worthy of study in non-Christian religions. [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddhism_in_Sri_Lanka] [Harv|Small|1971|pp=571] In the early 19th century, this view started to change, into the conviction that every evangelist should have sound knowledge in Buddhism.Harv|Small|1971|pp=570] The most prominent Christian scholars supporting this conviction were Daniel John Gogerly, C. H. S. Ward and Robert Spence Hardy.

Despite their conviction that knowledge in Buddhism was essential, their attitude towards Buddhism was still negative. Through their Polemical writings, they revealed their negative attitudes and beliefs that Buddhism was in error and that Christianity should replace Buddhism. Such attitude antagonised the Buddhists, and eventually led to a national Buddhist movement, starting from controversies held at Baddegama (1865), Udanwita (1866) and Gampola (1871). [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panadura#The_historic_Panadura_Debate_.27Panadura_Vadaya.27] The last and most popular of these controversies was the historic debate Panadura Vadaya, held in Panadura (1873), between Rev. David de Silva and Migettuwatte Gunananda Thera. One of the rules of the debate was that Christians should try to prove that Buddhism is false, and vice versa. [Harv|Small|1971|pp=574]

Gradually, this negative attitude between Buddhists and Christians started to change. The main influences responsible for the change in attitude included (1) more accurate knowledge of Buddhism than was available in the past; (2) interest in and appreciation for Buddhism shown by Western scholars such as Arthur Schopenhauer, who's philosophy was similar to that of the Buddha; (3) the book by Edwin Arnold titled The Light of Asia, which created a popular interest in Buddhism; (4) the Edinburgh Missionary Conference of 1910, which set the tone for a new Christian ecumenical movement; (5) missionary activities of Buddhists such as Anagarika Dharmapala in the West; and (6) the Tambaram Missionary Conference in 1938, where one of the main themes for discussion was "Christian message in a non-Christian world". [Harv|Small|1971|pp=574,575]

Perhaps the first Methodist missionary to practice this more positive attitude towards Buddhism was Rev. Stanley Bishop, who made his attitude evident in a book titled "Gautama or Jesus" (1907). [Harv|Small|1971|pp=575] In the introductory chapter, Bishop states:

Another significant step towards dialogue between Christians and Buddhists was by Daniel T. Niles, in his book "Eternal Life Now" (1946).Harv|Small|1971|pp=576] The purpose of this book is twofold: (1) to convey the Christian message in the Buddhist context, by using terms such as anicca, dukkha, samsara, sarana, anatta, sila, samadhi, panna, and arahat, and (2) to convey Buddhist truths within the context of Christianity.

With the resurgence of Buddhism after independence, the conviction grew even stronger for the need to consider Christianity in the light of a culture and heritage that is predominantly Buddhist, which led to an increased need for dialogue between the two religions.Harv|Small|1971|pp=577] Consequently, the "Study Center for Religion and Society", which was later renamed to "Ecumenical Institute for Study and Dialogue" (EISD), was established in Colombo in 1951. [ [http://www.sundayobserver.lk/2003/02/16/fea05.html Online edition of Sunday Observer - Business ] ] The center was initially managed by Rev. G. B. Jackson, and later directed by Lynn de Silva, whose focus was on Buddhist studies.

Ecumenical Institute for Study and Dialogue

Lynn de Silva was the director of the "Study Center for Religion and Society" from 1962. The center was organised into two divisions: "Division of Buddhist Studies", and "Division of Frontier Studies". The purpose of the former division is to promote study and research in Buddhism, while the purpose of the latter division is to explore the theological and social implications of the Christian faith in Sri Lanka. [Harv|de Alwis|1982|pp=35,36] The center was involved in successfully organising a number of dialogues, meetings and seminaries,Harv|de Alwis|1982|pp=36] and it has become an internationally recognised center for study and dialogue with Buddhism, along with other ecumenical concerns. [Harv|England|2002|pp=528] Furthermore, the center was recognised in the 1970s and 1980's as one of the most active of all similar study centers worldwide.Citation
first= Joseph J.
last= Spae
year=1975
volume=59
series=1
title = Three notes on the Christian-Buddhist Dialogue
journal = Zeitschrift Fur Missionswissenschaft und Religionswissenschaft
place =
url =
pages=24
]

In 1977, the center was renamed to "Ecumenical Institute for Study and Dialogue" (EISD), and set up as an autonomous body separate from the control of religious bodies and institutions. [http://www.sundayobserver.lk/2003/07/13/fea08.html Online edition of Sunday Observer - Business ] ] Although the primary focus was maintained on Buddhist-Christian studies and dialogue, a third additional division called "Division of Studies of other Faiths and Ideologies" was established in order to initiate studies in other religions. In addition to publishing books and papers on dialogue between Christianity and other religions, the EISD publishes the "Dialogue" journal on a quarterly basis, which was founded and edited by Lynn de Silva.

World Council of Churches Assembly at Nairobi

The assembly at Nairobi in 1975 of the World Council of Churches was an important milestone in the history of inter-religious dialogue. For the first time, representatives from five different faiths were present at the gathering, and the discussions were centered around the topic of inter-religious dialogue.Harv|de Alwis|1982|pp=28]

At a session that emphasised "seeking community" with people of other faiths, cultures and ideologies, the presentations were driven by, as the former director of the WCC sub-unit " [http://www.wcc-coe.org/wcc/what/interreligious/77glines-e.html Dialogue with People of Living Faiths and Ideologies] " (DFI) -- Stanley Samartha -- put it: "fear of losing the 'uniqueness' of Christ, fear of weakening the sense of 'mission', and the persistent fear of 'syncretism'". Presentations at this session were marked by conflicting opinions between a group of European theologians and a group of Asian and African theologians, which resulted from the conflicting viewpoints between the theologies practiced by the two groups. [Harv|de Alwis|1982|pp=28,29] While the Europeans voiced their fear of inter-religious dialogue, the African and Asian participants called for a more definite endorsement of dialogue.

In this debate, de Silva was one of the leading voices in the Asian viewpoint. [Citation
year=2000
issue=
first=
place =
editor= Sperber, Jutta
publisher= Walter de Gruyter
title=Christians and Muslims: The Dialogue Activities of the World Council of Churches and their Theological Foundation
isbn = 3110167956
url =
pages=254,255
] [Harv|de Alwis|1982|pp=29] Along with Joshua Russell Chandran from India, de Silva provided the weightiest and theologically most influential contributions; Samartha notes de Silva's contributation as "one of the most powerful interventions in the Assembly in support of dialogue", and Carl Hallencreutz describes it as "the personal witness of an experienced theologian from Sri Lanka". [Harv|de Alwis|1982|pp=31]

In his speech to the general assembly at Nairobi, de Silva states that his concern was to alleviate the fear voiced by Europeans about dialogue which, he claims, arise in people who have not lived among people of other faiths.Harv|de Alwis|1982|pp=33] Furthermore, he states that the spirituality of others can be shared without diminishing one's loyalty to one's own faith. He maintains that dialogue is a safeguard against syncretism, and not a temptation to syncretism, and concludes by saying Asian Christians should overcome the obstacles that separate one religion from another, and seek to express the Christian faith in the thought-forms and life-forms of Asia.

In a publication titled "Freedom from Teutonic Captivity" ("Dialogue", New Series, Vol. 3, No. 1), de Silva shares his thoughts on the Nairobi debate, and he presents the significance of the debate as follows:

Death

Lynn de Silva succumbed to cardiac arrest on 22 May 1982, while addressing the audience at a conference. The conference was organised by the National Christian Council on the theme "Jesus Christ, Life of the World". Being the third and final speaker, he completed his discourse on 2 Timoty 3: 15–17, and he stood up again to answer a question from the audience; however, he was barely able to formulate a reply, and he sat back in his chair. He died at the conference, at age 62, having continued to work until the end. After Lynn de Silva's death, the EISD was directed by Rev. Kenneth Fernando, and currently (as of 2008) directed by Marshal Fernando. Rev. Fr. Aloysius Pieris S. J., who had been collaborating with de Silva since 1968, and who in partnership with de Silva had officially been responsible for editing the "New Series" of "Dialogue", continued to work as editor of the journal after de Silva's death.Citation
first= Aloysius
last= Pieris S. J.
year=1983
volume=10
series=1
title = 'Dialogue' and the EISD after Dr. Lynn A. de Silva"
journal = Dialogue
place =
url =
pages=39
] A sister-in law of Lynn de Silva, Langanee Mendis, who was trained by de Silva as his secretary after the death of his wife Lakshmi, continues to work (as of 2008) as the Administrative Secretary at the institute. Mrs. Mendis is credited as being the main person responsible for the uninterrupted functioning of the institute after Lynn de Silva's death. Furthermore, she was considered by Pieris in 2003 to be "a tower of strength [for the Ecumenical Institute] for well over 20 years".

The Asian Theology of Lynn de Silva

Lynn de Silva gained an interest in Buddhism and its culture at an early stage in his ministry. He believed that the credibility of Christianity depended on its ability to relate to Buddhism, which was the faith of the majority of the Sri Lankan population. His objective was to develop a richer appreciation of the similarities between Buddhism and Christianity, in particular, to communicate the Christian message in a manner that the Sri Lankan culture understood, and to construct a theology that is focused towards the Buddhist cultural environment. To this end, he used Buddhist concepts to communicate Christian beliefs in a language understood from the Buddhist context, and he aimed at extending Christian theology with Buddhist concepts in order to gain a more thorough understanding of Christianity.Citation
last=Brueggemann
first=Walter
year=2001
issue=
volume=
title = Hope for the world: mission in a global context
publisher = Westminster John Knox Press
journal =
place =
url =
isbn = 066422461X
pages=110
] In his book "The Problem of the Self in Buddhism and Christianity", de Silva states the following:

To obtain the necessary background in Sri Lankan Buddhist practices, de Silva consulted reputed Buddhist monks and scholars, visited Buddhist places of worship, and consulted written sources on Sri Lankan Buddhism. Although most of his studies were completed in English, he took a special effort to master Sinhalese and the Sri Lankan culture. Furthermore, he became proficient in Pali, the language of the Buddhist scriptures. His findings eventually led to his most popular work, the book titled "Buddhism: Beliefs and Practices in Sri Lanka" Harv|de Silva|1974. In the early 1980's, this book was considered unparalleled as an introduction to Buddhism in Sri Lanka, and also considered the most complete, thorough and sensitive book on Buddhism in Sri Lanka, resulting in it generally being recommended as a standard book on Buddhist practices in Sri Lanka, by professors and monks.

Tilakkhana

Lynn de Silva believed that the construction of a theology that is focused towards the Buddhist cultural environment "must begin with living existential realities and not with metaphysical speculations", and that such a theology should attempt at understanding man's existence from concrete experiences common to mankind.Harv|de Alwis|1982|pp=123] In Tilakkhana, or the three characteristics -- anicca, dukkha and anattā -- of all existence discovered by the Buddha in his diagnosis of the human predicament, de Silva finds the appropriate starting point for such a theology. [Harv|de Alwis|1982|pp=121]

Although Tilakkhana is a Buddhist concept, de Silva finds that Tilakkhana is not a concept alien to the Bible. In his search for Tilakkhana in the Bible, de Silva finds anicca and dukkha in a number of Biblical passages such as Psalms 90, that speak of the transitoriness, suffering, and anxiety of human life, which leads him to believe that "the polarity of conflict between being and the possibility of non-being that lies at the core of human existence, the mood of anxiety, the finitude and precariousness of man's life, is a familiar theme that runs through the Bible". [Harv|de Alwis|1982|pp=124] Furthermore, de Silva finds that although there is no systematic exposition of Tilakkhana in the Bible as found in Buddhist texts, the undertones of anicca, dukkha and anattā do occur together in the Bible.

Anattā-Pneuma

In 1979, de Silva released his most outstanding contribution to Theology, the book titled "The Problem of the Self in Buddhism and Christianity" Harv|de Silva|1979, which has since been cited extensively (e.g., [Citation
year=1999
issue=1
volume=59
title = What on closer examination disappears
publisher = Springer Netherlands
journal =The American Journal of Psychoanalysis
place =
url = http://www.springerlink.com/content/j5223821800v11v6/fulltext.pdf
pages=87-96
] [Citation
year=2003
volume=23
first= Charlene
last= Burns
title= "Soul-less" Christianity and the Buddhist Emperical Self: Buddhist-Christian Convergence?
journal= Buddhist-Christian Studies
publisher = University of Hawai'i Press
place = Hawai'i, U.S.A.
url = http://www.jstor.org/pss/1390369
pages=87-100
] [Citation
year=2005
issue=4
first= Alex
last= Mok
title= Humanity, extraterrestrial life, and the cosmic Christ, in evolutionary perspective
journal= Australian Ejournal of Theology
issn = 1448-6326
url = http://dlibrary.acu.edu.au/research/theology/ejournal/aejt_4/mok.htm
pages=
] [Citation
year=1998
issue=
first=
place = New York
last= Fernando, Antony and Swidler, Leonard
publisher= Orbis Books
journal= Buddhism Made Plain: An Introduction for Christians and Jews
isbn = 0883441985
url =
pages=
] [Cited in:Citation
year=31/01/2002
issue=
last=Griffith-Dickson
first=Gwen
volume=
title = From ‘Self’ and ‘Other’ – to ‘We’
publisher =
journal =Gresham College Lecture
place =Barnard’s Inn Hall, Holborn, London
url = http://www.gresham.ac.uk/event.asp?PageId=108&EventId=110
pages=
, as an "excellent source to consult on the Buddhist doctrine of no-self".
] ) and attracted reviews from international journals (e.g., Citation
last=Kitagawa
first=Joseph M.
year=1983
issue=1
volume=63
title = (Review) The Problem of the Self in Buddhism and Christianity by Lynn A. de Silva
publisher =
journal =The Journal of Religion
place =
url = http://www.jstor.org/stable/1203142
pages=102-106
] Citation
year=1980
issue=4
last= Amore
first=Roy C.
volume=48
title = (Review) The Problem of the Self in Buddhism and Christianity by Lynn A. de Silva
publisher =
journal = Journal of the American Academy of Religion
place =
url = http://www.jstor.org/pss/1463468
pages=630-631
] ). In this book, de Silva compares the biblical notion of "the soul" (pneuma) or "the self", with the Buddhist doctrine of "no soul" (anattā) or "no self". Contrary to popular belief, de Silva shows that modern Christian scholarship does not support the notion of a soul as an immortal entity separate from the body. He argues that such a misconception arose as a consequence of the translation of the Bible into Greek:

Based on his observation, de Silva shows how the Buddhist doctrine of "anattā" is complementary to the Christian notion of personal identity -- "pneuma". He distinguishes that, while "pneuma" focuses on man as a relational entity, "anattā" focuses on man as an isolated entity. Furthermore, de Silva infers that if we do consider "anattā" to be real in Buddhism or Christianity, "pneuma" must also be real for Nibbāna or the Kingdom of God to be a positive ideal. In conclusion, de Silva proposes the compound notion "anattā-pneuma" as a solution for the problem of "the self" in Buddhism and Christianity; this new notion, he states, conforms with the "anattā" Buddhist-Christian belief in the non-existence of an immortal soul inhabiting the body, but also lays more emphasis on social relationships by means of "pneuma".

In his review of de Silva's book "The Problem of the Self in Buddhism and Christianity", Joseph Kitagawa argues that de Silva is too narrow in his analysis of the anatta doctrine; he claims that a better analysis would have been for de Silva to take into consideration the broader implication of the anattā doctrine, and to challenge the very basis of Greek philosophy which had influenced much of Christian theology. Furthermore, Kitagawa argues that de Silva could have entertained the possibility that Theravada Buddhism might look for Ultimate Reality more readily in the Mahayana Buddhist tradition, rather than turning towards Christianity. In Donald Mitchell's analysis of the same book by de Silva, he states that a better framework for dialogue with Hindu traditions could be allowed if de Silva considered an expanded hermeneutical circle that includes a more positive notion of soul that is compatible with the biblical understanding of man. By doing so, Mitchell argues, de Silva would be able to "include inherently valuable insights from the Christian tradition on the nature of man".

alvation

With his pluralistic view on religion, Lynn de Silva believed that salvation does not only apply to Christians, but also to other religions. He maintains that while Christians can use Christ as their means for salvation, other religions can use their own means for salvation:

In Tilakkhana, de Silva finds a foundation for a constructive dialogue with Buddhists, regarding the role of Jesus as saviour in Christianity. [Harv|de Alwis|1982|pp=171] Buddhists overcome Tilakkhana by turning attention away from the self and focusing their attention towards anattā; therefore, the ultimate goal to which Buddhism is directed towards -- Nibbana -- can be achieved by self effort. This, de Silva believes, is one of the "deepest dilemmas in Buddhism", leading him to ask the question "What is the self that denies the self and at the same time asserts that it alone can save the self?". He infers that "to deny the self and to affirm self-sufficiency is a contradiction".

He argues that it is the Bible that takes the anattā characteristic of Tilakkhana seriously. With Jesus as saviour, de Silva believes a perfect solution for man's tragic condition in Tilakkhana can be found in Christianity; in particular, he shows that the role of Jesus as saviour supports his conviction that a person cannot save himself through self effort. He goes on to say that by emphasising the anattā characteristic, Christians could make an attempt to convince Buddhists of the necessity of divine help in attaining Nibbana.

Despite doctrinaire Buddhists' claims, de Silva shows that the need for a saviour has found expression in Buddhism in numerous ways. By examining his own culture, de Silva goes on to show that the majority of lay Buddhists in Sri Lanka view the Buddha as a living saviour, who is able to confer blessings to mankind. [Harv|de Alwis|1982|pp=176]

In her Ph.D. thesis containing a chapter on de Silva's work, Damayanthi Niles claims that there is a problem with de Silva's argument in relation to salvation, in that it "reconciles the exclusive Christ-event and the inclusive vision of God's salvific plan purely on Christian terms", and that it does not take the "religious visions and commitments of other faiths seriously".Harv|Niles|1998|pp=55] Furthermore, she argues that de Silva's understanding of salvation, as found in his paper "Non-Christian Religions and God's Plan of Salvation" Harv|de Silva|1967b, borrows a religious idea from other religions and uses the idea to make Christianity more palatable to other religions and to Christians sensitive to pluralism.

Anattā and God

Lynn de Silva shares John Hick's view that although different religions use different concepts such as God and Buddha, all these concepts refer to the same Ultimate Reality.Citation
last=Hallett
first=Garth L.
year=2007
issue=3
volume=68
title = From statements to parables: rethinking pluralist identities
publisher = Thomson Gale
journal =Theological Studies
place =
url =
isbn = 066422461X
pages=555-572
] Regarding this commonality between religions, de Silva writes:

He acknowledges that the Buddhist way for obtaining peace and insight without the need for belief in God constitutes a "novel and powerful challenge to Christianity". [Quoted in Harv|de Alwis|1982|pp=216] However, he maintains that the concept of God could still become a fruitful area for dialogue with Buddhism.Harv|de Alwis|1982|pp=217] For such dialogue to take place, he argues that a reorientation of Christian thought about God is necessary, in order to eliminate some of our base notions of God and help us come to a more thorough understanding of what we mean by "God".

In relation to the place of "God" in Buddhism, de Silva contributed to the development of the Dharma-God idea, in which what the Buddha rejected is interpreted as being the notions that were considered during the Buddha's generation to be "associated" with God, rather than the Ultimate Reality that the term "God" or "Brahman" signified. [Harv|de Alwis|1982|pp=218] He states the following in regards to the concept of Dharma (or Dhamma) in Buddhism:

His main contribution towards overcoming the incompatibility between Buddhism and Christianity in regards to the concept of God is in arguing that an understanding of the Biblical treatment of anattā can find a place for "God" in Buddhism.Citation
year=2005
issue=
first=
place =
last= Lim, David and Spaulding, Steve
publisher= William Carey Library
title=Sharing Jesus Holistically with the Buddhist World
isbn = 0878085084
url =
pages=
] In particular, he argues that Christianity carries the concept of anatta into its logical conclusion, and that "it is in relation to the reality of God that the reality of anatta can be meaningful".

Thanatology

In the last few years before his death, de Silva focused his study towards the study of human death, i.e., the field of Thanatology. His quest was motivated mainly by the death of his wife Lakshmi in December 1980, but also by his curiosity about the meaning of resurrection. With this frame of mind, de Silva studied the beliefs and practices of people with respect to death, such as the phenomenon of mediums, with help from Buddhist exponents of reincarnation. Although traces of his findings were found in his last writings, de Silva died before completing his study, in May 1982. His last findings were published posthumously by his friend and colleague, Rev. Fr. Aloysius Pieris S.J., in the paper "Buddhism and Christianity Relativised", in volume 9 of the "Dialogue" journal.

In this paper, de Silva talks about "Life Beyond Death", and writes that theologians should not ignore data about the Parapsychology. He urges that evidence about the paranormal is compelling, and that it is a field that merits careful study. Regarding Purgatory, de Silva states in this paper that the Hindu/Buddhist view that Ultimate Reality is reached through a process of purification through liberation from "self" and elevation to stages of spiritual development, is more acceptable than the belief in a single life on earth and an everlasting hell or heaven after death. Furthermore, he insists that the Hindu/Buddhist view conforms to modern theological as well as psychical research. In agreement with the Hindu/Buddhist view, de Silva regards Purgatory to be a place of cleansing, which ultimately makes a person ready for eternal life in Heaven:

In his final "Dialogue" journal publication "Reflections on Life in the Midst of Death", de Silva explains that it is sin which has created the illusion of "self" in man, and that it is this illusion that drives man towards self-possession and selfishness. He states that belief in "self" alienates man from Ultimate Reality as well as from one another, giving rise to dukkha or feelings of despair, emptiness and meaninglessness, when man is in the midst of death. He stresses on the importance of love in overcoming this clinging to "self", and maintains that love is, by nature, non-selfish and involves responsibility and venturing beyond one's own interests:

Tissa de Alwis, in his Th.D. thesis studying the works of Lynn de Silva, argues that "de Silva's attempt to harmonise Rebirth, Purgatory, and an intermediate state, which is a kind of a continuum in which one passes from a near state of annihilation to the closest union with God, is inconsistent with the radical picture of Biblical anatta"; furthermore, de Alwis states that de Silva "fails to define lostness in the final sense and slides into an unrestricted universalism". [Citation
year=1983
issue=1
volume=10
first= Tissa Brian
place = Colombo, Sri Lanka
last= de Alwis
journal= Dialogue
publisher= Ecumenical Institute for Study and Dialogue
title= Christian Buddhist Dialogue in the Writings of Lynn A. de Silva
isbn =
url =
pages=
]

Positions and Ecumenical Activities

According to Harv|Pieris S.J.|1982, Lynn de Silva's professional activities, positions and responsibilites were the following.

Positions and Responsibilities

* Superintendent Minister in Circuits in the Methodist Church
* Manager of fourteen schools
* William Paton Lecturer, Selly Oak Colleges, Birmingham, England 1970 – 71.
* Visiting Lecturer in Asian Religions, University of Bristol, England, 1970 –71.
* Co-translator of the Bible into Sinhalese 1964-1973
* Chief Translator of the joint Protestant-Roman Catholic translation of the Bible into Sinhalese, 1973-1982.
* Member of the Committee on Research of the Senate of Serampore College, responsible for the M.Th, and D.Th. degrees.
* Appointed to the Residium of the National Council for Religion and Peace (an Inter-religious organisation), and Executive President in 1979-80.
* Editor, Methodist Witness Christ News Bulletin.
* Director, Study Centre (later Ecumenical Institute for Study and Dialogue 1962-1982.
* Elected member of the working committee of the Division of World Mission and Evangelism (DWME) of the World Council of Churches in 1962. Re-elected in 1963 and 1968.
* Appointed member of the Unit of Committee of the World Council of Churches and the Working Committee on Dialogue-with Faiths and Ideologies (DFI) of the WCC in 1969.

Ecumenical Activities

* 1961—Consultation on Buddhist-Christian Encounter, Rangoon.
* 1962—WCC Central Committee, Paris.
* 1963—WCC Division of World Mission and evangelism (DWME) Mexico.
* 1966—Working Committee of the WCC, DWME, Zurich.
* 1966—Consultation on Study Centres, organized by the WCC, Kandy.
* 1967—WCC Central Committee, Geneva.
* 1969—Department of Studies in Mission and Evangelism of the WCC, Canterbury.
* 1970—DFI Consultation on "Dialogue with Men of Living Faiths", Beirut.
* 1971—DFI, Study Centre Directors Consultation, Hong Kong.
* 1971—British Methodist Conference, England.
* 1973—DFI Meeting Athens.
* 1973—WCC Unit I Committee and Central Committee, Geneva.
* 1974—Conference of the DFI on "Towards World Community", Colombo.
* 1974—International Association for Mission Studies, Frankfurt (chief Co-ordinator and Chairman for section on Buddhism).
* 1974—WCC Unit I Committee, Berlin.
* 1975—Fifth Assembly of the WCC, Nairobi.
* 1976—Ecumenical Association of Third World Theologians, Dares Salaam, Tanzania.
* 1976—Committee of Research of the Senate of Serampore College, Madras.
* 1977—DFI Consultation on Dialogue in Community, Chiang Mai, Thailand.
* 1977—DFI Consultation on "Religious Dimensions in Humanity’s Relation to nature", Colombo.
* 1978—DFI Working Committee, Trinidad.
* 1978—Dialogue Working Group organized by the Church of Sweden Mission, Jerusalem.
* 1979—Asian Theological Conference, Wennappuwa, Sri Lanka.
* 1980—DFI Working Group, Budapest, Hungary.
* 1980—Conference on "Buddhist-Christian Renewal and the Future of Humanity", sponsored by the University of Hawaii Department of Religion, the Council of Churches and the Hawaii Buddhist Council, Hawaii.
* 1980—Consultation on the "Theological Basis for Peace with Justice" of the Asian Christian Peace Conference, Colombo.
* 1980—WCC Consultation on the Role of Study Centers, Singapore.
* 1981—DFI meeting, Bali Indonesia.
* 1982—CCA meeting in Singapore, to plan a CCA dialogue program for the next few years.

Publications

Books

*Citation
first=Lynn A.
last=de Silva
year=1950
title= Purana Darshanaya (Sinhalese)
publisher = M.D. Gunasena
place=Colombo, Sri Lanka
url=
pages=

*Citation
first=Lynn A.
last=de Silva
year=1961
title=Lukge Subaranchi Pradipaya (Sinhalese)
publisher = Committee for Publication of Christian Literature
place=Colombo, Sri Lanka
url=
pages=

*Citation
first=Lynn A.
last=de Silva
year=1964
title= Creation, Redemption and Consummation in Buddhist and Christian Thought
publisher = Thailand Theological Seminary
place=Chiang Mai, Thailand
url=
pages=

*Citation
first=Lynn A.
last=de Silva
year=1968
isbn= B0006C3NP6 (ASIN:Amazon)
title= Reincarnation in Buddhist and Christian Thought
publisher = Christian Literature Society
place= Colombo, Sri Lanka
url=
pages=

*Citation
first=Lynn A.
last=de Silva
year=1974
isbn=B0000CQC8X (ASIN:Amazon)
title= Buddhism: Beliefs and Practices in Sri Lanka
publisher = Wesley Press
place=Colombo, Sri Lanka
url=
pages=

*Citation
first=Lynn A.
last=de Silva
year=1979
isbn=0333236602
title= The Problem of the Self in Buddhism and Christianity (Second Ed.) [First edition published by the Study Center for Religion and Society, Colombo, 1975]
publisher = Macmillan Press
place=London
url=
pages=

*Citation
first=Lynn A.
last=de Silva
year=1980
title= Lakdiva Pariharaika Buddhagama (Sinhalese)
publisher = Ecumenical Institute for Study and Dialogue
place=Colombo, Sri Lanka
url=
pages=

Book Chapters

*Citation
first=Lynn A.
last=de Silva
year=1967a
editor=Singh, Herbert Jai
title= Buddhist-Christian Dialogue
publisher = The Christian Institute for the Study of Religion and Society
journal= Inter-Religious Dialogue
place=Bangalore
pages=170-203
url=
pages=

*Citation
first=Lynn A.
last=de Silva
year=1971
editor=Samartha, Stanley J.
title= Some Issues in Buddhist-Christian Dialogue
publisher = WCC
journal=Dialogue Between Men of Living Faiths: papers presented at the consultation held at Ajaltoun, Lebanon, March 1970
place= Geneva
url=
pages=47-58

*Citation
first=Lynn A.
last=de Silva
title= [Contributed material to chapter on Buddhism]
editor=Brown, David A.
year=1975
journal= A Guide To Religions
publisher = S.P.C.K. and United Society for Christian Literature for the Theological Education Fund
place=
isbn=9780281028498
url=
pages=123-154

*Citation
first=Lynn A.
last=de Silva
editor = Elwood, Douglas J.
year=1976
title= The Problem of the Self in Buddhism and Christianity
journal = What Asian Christians are Thinking: A Theological Source Book
publisher = New Day Publishers of the Christian Literature Society of the Philippines
place= Quezon City
isbn=
url=
pages=105-118

*Citation
first=Lynn A.
last=de Silva
year=1976
isbn=0883440164
editor=Anderson, Gerald H.
journal=Asian Voices in Christian Theology
title= Sri Lanka: Theological Construction in a Buddhist Context
publisher = Orbis Books
place=Maryknoll
url=
pages=37-52

*Citation
first=Lynn A.
last=de Silva
editor=Amirtham, Samuel
journal= A Vision for Man: Essays on Faith, Theology and Society : in honour of Joshua Russell Chandran
year=1978
title= An Existential Understanding of the Doctrine of Creation in the Context of Buddhism
publisher = Christian Literature Society
place= Madras
url=
pages=78-91

*Citation
first=Lynn A.
last=de Silva
year=1979
editor=Carter, John Ross
title= Christian Community within Communities
publisher = Marga Institute
journal= Religiousness in Sri Lanka
place=Colombo
url=
pages=273-300

*Citation
first=
editor = Samartha, Stanley J. and de Silva, Lynn A.
year=1979
asin=
title= Man in Nature: Guest or Engineer? A Preliminary Enquiry by Christians and Buddhists into the Religious Dimensions in Humanity's Relation to Nature
publisher = The Ecumenical Institute for Study and Dialogue [in cooperation with the WCC, Geneva]
place= Colombo, Sri Lanka
url=
pages=16-23

*Citation
first=Lynn A.
last=de Silva
editor=Fabella, Virginia
journal= Asia's Struggle for Full Humanity: Towards a Relevant Theology : papers from the Asian Theological Conference, January 7-20, 1979, Wennappuwa, Sri Lanka
year=1980
isbn=0883440156
title= Christian Reflection in a Buddhist Context
publisher = Orbis Books
place=Maryknoll, New York, U.S.A.
url=
pages=96-107

*Citation
first=Lynn A.
last=de Silva
editor=Francis, T. Dayananda
journal= New Approaches to Interfaith Dialogue
year=1980
isbn=
title= Dialogue in the Context of Sri Lanka Buddhism
publisher = Church of Sweden Mission
place=Uppsala
url=
pages=89-102

*Citation
first=Lynn A.
last=de Silva
editor=Jathanna, Constantine D.
journal= Dialogue in community: essays in honour of Stanley J. Samartha
year=1982
isbn=
title= The theological significance of people of other faiths
publisher = Karnataka Theological Research Institute
place=Mangalore
url=
pages=31-45

*Citation
first=Lynn A.
last=de Silva
editor=Francis, T. Dayananda and Balasundaram, F. J.
journal= Asian expressions of Christian commitment: a reader in Asian theology
year=1992
isbn=
title= Dialogue in the Context of Sri Lanka Buddhism
publisher = Christian Literature Society
place=Madras
url=
pages=394-406

Papers

*Citation
first=Lynn A.
last=de Silva
year=1952a
asin=
title= Premaoushadaya (Sinhalese)
publisher = Liberty Press
place= Colombo, Sri Lanka
url=
pages=

*Citation
first=Lynn A.
last=de Silva
year=1952b
asin=
title= Premaye Rahasa (Sinhalese)
publisher = Salvation Army Press
place= Colombo, Sri Lanka
url=
pages=

*Citation
first=Lynn A.
last=de Silva
year=1957
asin=
title= Deva Vishvasaya (Sinhalese)
publisher = Committee for the Publication of Christian Literature
place= Colombo, Sri Lanka
url=
pages=

*Citation
first=Lynn A.
last=de Silva
year=1957
asin=
title= Belief in God
publisher = Committee for the Publication of Christian Literature
place= Colombo, Sri Lanka
url=
pages=

*Citation
first=Lynn A.
last=de Silva
year=1961
editor= Than, U. Kyaw
asin=
title=The Biblical Understanding of Man and of Man in Society in Relation to Buddhism
publisher =
journal=A Consultation on Buddhist-Christian Encounter
place= Rangoon [Reprinted in Cyclostyled form by Study Center, Sri Lanka, 1964]
url=
pages=

*Citation
first=Lynn A.
last=de Silva
year=1961
editor= Than, U. Kyaw
asin=
title=The Christian Solution to the Problem of Man in Relation to Buddhism
publisher =
journal=A Consultation on Buddhist-Christian Encounter
place= Rangoon [Reprinted in Cyclostyled form by Study Center, Sri Lanka, 1964]
url=
pages=

*Citation
first=Lynn A.
last=de Silva
year=1964
asin=
title=Bauddha Jatika Balavegaya and the Search for the Historical Jesus
publisher =
place= Colombo, Sri Lanka
url=
pages=

*Citation
first=Lynn A.
last=de Silva
year=1966
title= Why can't I save myself? The Christian Answer in Relation to Buddhist Thought
publisher = The Christian Study Centre
place=Colombo, Sri Lanka
url=
pages=

*Citation
first=Lynn A.
last=de Silva
year=1967b
asin=
editor= Hayward, Victor E. W.
title= Non-Christian Religions and God’s Plan of Salvation
journal=Study Encounter
volume=3
series=2
publisher = WCC
place=
url=
pages=61-67

*Citation
first=Lynn A.
last=de Silva
year=1967c
asin=
editor= Hayward, Victor E. W.
title= Relevant Areas of Dialogue with Buddhists
journal=Study Encounter
volume=3
series=2
publisher = WCC
place=
url=
pages=79-80

*Citation
first=Lynn A.
last=de Silva
year=1967d
asin=
editor=
title= The Buddhist challenge and the Christian response
journal=Logos
volume=8
series=2
publisher = Ecumenical Institute for Study and Dialogue
place=
url=
pages=1-16

*Citation
first=Lynn A.
last=de Silva
year=1968
asin=
editor= Potter, Philip
title= Good News of Salvation to the Buddhist
journal=International Review of Missions
volume=57
series= 288
publisher = WCC
place=
url=
pages=448-458

*Citation
first=Lynn A.
last=de Silva
year=1969
asin=
editor=
title= The Cross and the Bodhi Tree
journal=
volume=
series=
publisher = Wesley Press
place=
url=
pages=

*Citation
first=Lynn A.
last=de Silva
year=1970
title= Why believe in God? The Christian Answer in Relation to Buddhism
publisher = The Christian Study Centre
place=Colombo, Sri Lanka
url=
pages=

*Citation
first=Lynn A.
last=de Silva
year=1971
editor=Small, Walter J. T.
title= Encounter with Buddhism
publisher =
journal=A History of the Methodist Church in Ceylon
place= Colombo, Sri Lanka
url=
pages=570-579

*Citation
first=
last=
year=1972
editor=de Silva, Lynn A.
title= Dialogue Between Men of Living Faiths: statements by Buddhists, Hindus, Christians, Muslims
publisher = Wesley Press, for the Study Center
journal=
place= Colombo
url=
pages=

*Citation
first=Lynn A.
last=de Silva
editor = Brown, David A.
year=1975
title= Buddhism
journal = A Guide To Religions: Study Guide No. 12
publisher = S.P.C.K.
place= London
isbn=
url=
pages=

*Citation
first=Lynn A.
last=de Silva
editor = Peton, David M.
year=1976
title= Dialogue [Part of a talk delivered at the Fifth Assembly of the World Council of Churches, Nairobi]
journal = Breaking Barriers
publisher = S.P.C.K.
place= London
isbn=
url=
pages=

*Citation
first=Lynn A.
last=de Silva
year=1977
title= Dialogue: A Matter of Necessity [Also in French as: "Le dialogue n'est plus un choix, Mais Une Necessite", in Volume 3 of Mensuel]
publisher = WCC
journal= One World
volume=23
place=Colombo, Sri Lanka
url=
pages=10-11

*Citation
first=Lynn A.
last=de Silva
year=1979
title= Emergent Theology in the Context of Buddhism
publisher = Ecumenical Institute for Study and Dialogue
place=Colombo, Sri Lanka
url=
pages=

*Citation
first=Lynn A.
last=de Silva
editor= Elwood, Douglas J.
journal= Asian Christian Theology: Emerging Themes
year=1980
title= Emergent Theology in the Context of Buddhism
publisher = Westminister Press
place= Philadelphia
url=
pages=220-238

*Citation
first=Lynn A.
last=de Silva
year=1982
title= Reflections on Life in the midst of Death [Presented at Department of Faiths and Ideologies (DFI) of the World Council of Churches in Bali, Indonesia in December 1981]
publisher = Ecumenical Institute for Study and Dialogue
place=Colombo, Sri Lanka
url=
journal=Dialogue
volume=10
series=1
pages=4-17

*Citation
first=Lynn A.
last=de Silva
year=196?
journal= Encyclopedia of Buddhism
title= Buddhism and Christianity
publisher = ???
place= Sri Lanka
url=
pages=

*Citation
first=
last=Corless, Roger J. and de Silva, Lynn
year=1992
title= Christians Learning About Buddhist Neighbors [Published posthumously]
publisher = Office of Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations, Presbyterian Church
journal= Occasional Paper #6
volume=
place=U.S.A.
url=
pages=

Newspaper and Magazine Articles

*Citation
first=Lynn A.
last=de Silva
year= October 5, 1971
journal= The Ceylon Daily
title= Dialogue Between Faiths
publisher =
place= Sri Lanka
url=
pages=

*Citation
first=Lynn A.
last=de Silva
year= March 26, 1978
journal= The Sunday Observer
title= Many Mansions
publisher =
place= Sri Lanka
url=
pages=

*Citation
first=Lynn A.
last=de Silva
editor=
journal= The Ceylon Churchman
year=September-October 1981
isbn=
title= Glimpses of life beyond death
publisher =
place=Sri Lanka
url=
pages=

Dialogue Journal

Following is a list of editorials and article edits in the Dialogue journal by Lynn de Silva.

Lynn de Silva as Subject

*Citation
year=1982
issue=
volume=
pages=
first= Tissa Brian
last=de Alwis
title = Christian-Buddhist Dialogue in the Writings of Lynn A. de Silva
journal = Th.D. Thesis
publisher = University Microfilms International
isbn=
place = Andrews University, U.S.A.
url =

*Citation
first=Ulrich
last= Dornberg
year=1992
asin=
journal= Searching through the crisis : Christians, contextual theology and social change in Sri Lanka in the 1970s and 1980s
title= Lynn A. de Silva
publisher = Center for Society and Religion
place= Colombo
url=
pages=137-140

*Citation
first=Franklyn J.
last=Balasundaram
year=1994
asin=
journal= The prophetic voices of Asia
title=
volume=2
publisher = Center for Society and Religion
place= Colombo
url=
pages=107-115

*Citation
first=
last=
year=1998
asin=
journal= Lynn A. de Silva: Mit Buddha und Christus auf dem Weg (German)
title=
volume=
publisher = Herder
place= Freiburg i.Br.
url=
pages=

*Citation
year=1998
issue=
volume=
pages=50
first= Damayanthi Mercy Arulratnum
last= Niles
title = Religion and the Christian Faith in South Asia: A Critical Enquiry into the Writings of Hendrik Kraemer, Lynn de Silva & M. M. Thomas with Regard to the use of Understandings of Religion in the Theological Task
journal = Ph.D. Thesis
publisher = University Microfilms International
isbn=
place = University of Chicago, U.S.A.
url =

References


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