A Study of Walter Wink’s Powers as Exemplified in Martin Luther King Jr. and Aung San Suu Kyi with Special Reference to the Political Context of Burma/Myanmar
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Burma/Myanmar has been under a military dictatorship for fifty-three years. This dissertation examines the spirit of Burmese politics, interacting with the conceptual framework of Martin Luther King Jr., Aung San Suu Kyi and Walter Wink. It begins with a critical exploration of various ethical formulations of nonviolence by Wink and other scholars. After the exploration of Wink’s theology of nonviolence, the chapters 4 and 5 consider King and Suu Kyi’s philosophical and practical applications of nonviolence. King and Suu Kyi masterfully advance their views of nonviolence in their own contexts. A critical interaction between King, Suu Kyi and Wink in the fields of leadership, religion, and ethical principles (chapter 6) constructs a theoretical basis for the main body of this dissertation (chapter 7). This interaction reveals that violence and nonviolence are far greater than a means to achieve the desired end. Both have a spiritual dimension. When this spiritual aspect is saturated in a particular culture, it cannot be easily removed. The true political spirit of Myanmar is revealed by its long history of violence being employed as a means to change the government. This Burmese political spirit pervades the areas of leadership, religion, and ethics. Against this backdrop, Suu Kyi rises up to transform the spirit of Burmese politics. This dissertation concludes that expounding Burmese politics through the eyes of King, Suu Kyi, and Wink enables us to discern its spiritual nature which has been long rooted throughout the nation’s history and to draw some implications for Christians in Myanmar.