This study of the Jerusalem council in Acts 15 pays special attention to the life of Lucan communities as they attempted to establish co-apostolic existence in the context of first-century Roman imperial expansionism. Taing-Yinn Tharr theory is introduced and deployed to explore the system of domination exercised through apostolic power in the New Testament church and evident in multiple instances of subordination in the Jerusalem deliberation. Taing-Yinn Tharr, developed in Myanmar to accommodate fellow subaltern groups, means “the fellow co-inhabitants of one country of origin” and entails a single united reality that privileges co-existence regardless of multiple, national distinctions present in the country. This thesis presents Taing-Yinn Tharr as a potentially fruitful postcolonial critical theory. Co-existence in equality is a key axiom for decolonizing both the text of Acts 15 and the internal-colonial context of Burma. This thesis argues that the convening of the Jerusalem council had as its true goal, not the submission of Gentile to Jewish Christians but the institution of a universal apostleship despite differences on ethnic/cultural/religious grounds.

Degree Date

Summer 8-8-2018

Document Type


Degree Name



Religious Studies


Sze-kar Wan

Second Advisor

Rebekah Miles

Third Advisor

Roy Heller

Number of Pages




Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License