Rathiulung Elias KC

Thesis title: Christology and Cosmology: Weaving incarnation into the indigenous lifeworlds of the Rongmei Baptists in Manipur, India


Rathiulung Elias KC is from Manipur, Northeast India and belongs to the Zeliangrong Naga people. He is currently a PhD candidate at the Centre for the Study of World Christianity, University of Edinburgh. His research interests include indigenous Christianity, especially among ethnic minorities of Northeast India, Anthropology of Christianity, world Christianity, and theological works of Yangkahao Vashum, Wati Longchar, Emmanuel Katongole, Wolfhart Pannenberg and Stanley Grenz. 

I have lived and studied in India, South Korea, Canada, and now in the UK. Through my time in these locations, I have developed interest in the multiple expressions of Christianity in local contexts around the world. My PhD research specifically looks at understanding the encounters between Zeliangrong lifeworld and Christianity. 

I run my personal podcast channel called, The Contemplative Tribal Podcast. It focuses on highlighting stories, ideas, and practices from the perspective of tribal life of Northeast India. Besides that, along with two other PhD students, we run the podcast, Voices of World Christianity.


B. Sc (Zoology) at St. Edmund's College, Shillong (India).

M. Div (Intercultural Studies) at Torch Trinity Graduate University, Seoul (South Korea).

Th. M at Regent College, Vancouver (Canada).

Responsibilities & affiliations

Project ManagerCentre for Theology and Public Issues | The University of Edinburgh

Member of the Reviews Team: 


  • Researching Indigenous Studies and Christianity (RISC) Network 
  • Yale-Edinburgh Group on World Christianity the History of the Mission
  • Scholars at the Peripheries, University of St Andrews
  • Society for the Study of Theology 
  • Rongmei Scholars' Association

Undergraduate teaching

History of Christianity as a World Religion tutor (2020-21 Semester I)

Religion, Violence, and Peacebuilding tutor (2020-21 Semester II)

Global Indigenous Religions (2021-22 Semester II)

Christian Theology: Debates and Doctrines (2022-23 Semester I)

History of Christianity as a World Religion (2022-23 Semester II)


Research summary

My interests include world Christianity, the study of indigenous knowledge and lifeworld, Naga studies, ethnic minorities on South/Southeast Asia, and Christian theology. I wrote my Master of Theology (ThM) dissertation on a reciprocal analysis of Christology in the works of Wolfhart Pannenberg against the Christological expressions in Zeliangrong contexts. I am also keenly interested in theologies from the Global South, especially from South East Asia, Indigenous theologies (Native American, Maori, Philippines), and Tribal Theology of Northeast India.


Full article: ‘More than merry-making’: Tribal-Indigenous Baptists and their lifeworlds of festivities (tandfonline.com)

Performing Heritage, Theology and ‘Land’ in the <i>Lujam</i> Songs of the Rongmei Nagas of North-east India | Studies in World Christianity (euppublishing.com)

"His Beautiful Face Obscured by the Blood-Red": Christological Ruminations in the Lujam Songs of the Rongmei Nagas, Journal of Tribal Studies 26, 1 and 2, 2021. 54-71. 

Affiliated research centres

Project activity

PhD project funded by School of Divinity Research Fund and College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences Research Fund 2019

Voices of World Christianity Podcast

Past project grants

Students Experience Grant 2021

Conference details

  • Yale-Edinburgh Conference 2021 (On-line, from New College, University of Edinburgh, 22–24 June 2021 #YaleEdin2021).
  • All India Conference (15-16 August 2021) by Centre for the Study of Religion and Politics (St. Andrew's University) and Scholars at the Peripheries.
  • Society for the Study of Theology Conference 2022, "The End of the World," April 2022.
  • “Visions of Rapture and Progress: Socio-Economic Entanglements in Indigenous/Tribal Christianity of Northeast India,” Religion, Mobility & Religion, UCSIA Summer School 2022, Antwerp. August 28 – September 3, 2022.
  • Ecclesiology & Ethnography Durham 2022, Durham University. September 16 – 18, 2022.
  • Society for the Study of Theology Annual Conference 2023: “Power”, University of Warwick, April 17-20, 2023.
  • Yale-Edinburgh 2023 Conference, Creation, Climate Change, and World Christianity, University of Edinburgh, 21-23 June 2023.
  • One-day Seminar on Northeast India (Network of NEI Scholars in the UK), University of Edinburgh, October 2023.

Invited speaker

"Understanding Naga Christianity: History, Reflexivity, Lived-Reality, and Embeddedness", Naga Scholars Association Special Panel April 2022


SST-RISC webinar on "Indigenous Theology: Prospects and Challenges", featuring Randy Woodley, Elilo Ezung, Axolile Qina, and Elia Maggang. 

Link: Indigenous Theologies: Prospects and Challenges | risc (riscnetwork.wixsite.com)


Society for the Study of Theology Conference 2021 Theme: Theology at the Borders (12-14 April 2021)

Scholars at the Peripheries International Conference 2021 Theme: New Scholarships--Contributions from the Global South (3-6 August 2021)

Papers delivered