Date of Submission



This thesis investigates the theology of the laity as proposed by the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences (FABC) from 1970 to 2001, and situates it in the context of post-Vatican II magisterial documents, in particular Pope John Paul II's Apostolic Exhortations Christifideles Laici (1989) and Ecclesia in Asia (1999), and the pastoral letters of the Vietnamese Episcopal Conference (VEC). The thesis suggests that the FABC's theology of the laity follows a 'see, judge, act' methodology, and is basically a faith seeking triple dialogue with the cultures, the religions, and the poor of Asia. It notes that there was both a fundamental continuity and a gradual development in this theology, which privileges the concepts of 'priesthood of life' and contextualised communion, a common matrix that is linked to the notions of integral liberation and tria munera, to explicate the vocation and mission of lay people, defined first and foremost as Asian Christians. It suggests further that the FABC's theology of the laity was formulated in tandem with its ecclesiology, one that focuses on the kingdom of God, and was marked by an increased emphasis on the Church as communion-in-mission, as dialogue and solidarity, as disciple-community, and as a community of faith, hope, and charity, realised in basic ecclesial communities.


School of Theology

Document Type


Access Rights

Open Access


522 pages

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Faculty of Arts and Sciences