Sri Lanka - Final Topic

So, after much thought and some struggle, I think I've settled on the following topic for the class. Modern missionaries: resolving the conflict between philanthropy, politics and proselytism in the war-torn regions of Sri Lanka.

As I continue reading and research, I'll be considering the following: - Role of different religions in modern Sri Lankan society - Philanthropy for poverty/Religion and the poor - The effect of natural disaster and tragedy on conversions - Brief history of religion, freedom and diversity of Sri Lanka (include, give context) - Brief history of proselytism (again, for proper contextualization) - Discussion: Transparency conflict – mission of religion vs mainstream philanthropic endeavors.

At this point I don't have much else to say, I'll just be reading. and reading. and reading.

Sri Lanka - Studies

For the past few months I have been pouring over books and articles as part of one of my classes “A Natural Evolution of Religion.” Concurrently we've also been tracing the history of religion itself over the past several thousand years, and how the religion and cultures of various civilizations have been affected by politics, climate change, and natural disaster. The class is a small seminar, just 11 of us total, and has been a wonderful experience so far. In addition to the cornerstone reading for the class, each student gets to embark on their own individual journey. The topics chosen by my colleagues vary from the Tower of Babel to the First Council of Nicea and beyond. I'm focusing on the history of religion in Sri Lanka, and as I'm zeroing on my topic I'm leaning towards a topic less historical and of more relevance to the current struggle.

I've struggled a little bit in narrowing this down as I find most of what I am reading extraordinarily interesting, and it seems as though rabbit trails are quite easy to go on when doing this type of research. I'm leaning toward one of the following topics:

  • The role of religious freedom in Sri Lanka's ethnic struggle.
  • The problem of evangelism in modern Sri Lanka.
  • Dispelling myths of Sri Lankan culture (as a means of properly understanding the current religious tension).
  • The preservation of religious freedom in Sri Lanka.
  • The role of the Christian Church in conflict resolutionin Sri Lanka.
  • The result of colonialism: present day diverse Sri Lanka.
  • “Give me your poor” - the role of religion in modern day poverty and tragedy in Sri Lanka.
  • The role of U.S. citizens in Sri Lankan religious struggles.
  • “Heaven on Earth” - the ulterior motives behind philanthropic endeavors in 'third world' countries.

I'll post some summaries of recent articles I've read soon. In the meantime... if anybody has any insights or thoughts, let me know. (Cousins, I'm especially talking to YOU!)