Ecumenical Institute for Study and Dialogue

Ecumenical Institute for Study and Dialogue

in fulfilling its duty to be a witness and service to the life of the nation.Citation
last= Small
first=Walter J. T.
title = A History of the Methodist Church in Ceylon, 1814-1964
journal =
publisher =Wesley Press
place =
url =
] The center has been 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.Citation
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
place = 1-57075-481-0
url =
] 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
title = Three notes on the Christian-Buddhist Dialogue
journal = Zeitschrift Fur Missionswissenschaft und Religionswissenschaft
place =
url =
] [Citation
first=Joseph M.
title = (Review) The Problem of the Self in Buddhism and Christianity by Lynn A. de Silva
publisher =
journal =The Journal of Religion
place =
url =
] 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 is one of the first theological journals on Buddhist-Christian encounter,Citation
last= De icon
title=Buddhism and Christianity: Antagonistic or Complementary?
journal= Studies in World Christianity
publisher =
place =
url =
] and founded by Lynn de Silva.Citation
title=Lynn A. de Silva (1919-1982)
journal= Buddhist-Christian Studies
publisher = University of Hawai'i Press
place = Hawai'i, U.S.A.
url =
] Harv|Small|1971|pp=577]

The Study Center was established in 1951, during to the resurgence of Buddhism after independence, which brought with it an increased need for dialogue between Buddhism and Christianity. The goal of the center is to consider Christianity in the light of the Sri Lankan culture and heritage, which is predominantly Buddhist. The Study Center was renamed in 1977 to "Ecumenical Institute for Study and Dialogue" (EISD). [ [ Online edition of Sunday Observer - Business ] ]

After its establishment in 1951, the center was managed by Rev. G. B. Jackson. It 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.Citation
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
place = Andrews University, U.S.A.
url =
] From 1962 until 1982, the center was directed by Lynn de Silva, whose focus was on Buddhist studies. Under his leadership, the EISD was set up in 1977 as an autonomous body separate from the control of religious bodies and institutions. [ 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 opened in order to initiate studies in other religions.

After Lynn de Silva's death in 1982, the EISD was directed by Rev. Kenneth Fernando, and it is currently 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.
title = 'Dialogue' and the EISD after Dr. Lynn A. de Silva"
journal = Dialogue
place =
url =
] Mrs. Langanee Mendis, the Administrative Secretary at the institute, is credited as being the main person responsible for the uninterrupted functioning of the institute after Lynn de Silva's death; she was also considered by Pieris in 2003 to be "a tower of strength [for the Ecumenical Institute] for well over 20 years".


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