In God's Image: The Metaculture of Fijian Christianity / Edition 1 available in Paperback
Today, most indigenous Fijians are Christians, and the Methodist Church is the foundation of their social and political lives. Yet, as this thought-provoking study of life on rural Kadavu Island finds, Fijians also believe that their ancestors possessed an inherent strength that is lacking in the present day. Looking in particular at the interaction between the church and the traditional chiefly system, Matt Tomlinson finds that this belief about the superiority of the past provokes great anxiety, and that Fijians seek ways of recovering this strength through ritual and political action-Christianity itself simultaneously generates a sense of loss and the means of recuperation. To unravel the cultural dynamics of Christianity in Fiji, Tomlinson explores how this loss is expressed through everyday language and practices.
About the Author
Matt Tomlinson is Lecturer in Anthropology at Monash University in Australia and coeditor of The Limits of Meaning: Case Studies in the Anthropology of Christianity.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations Preface and Acknowledgments PART ONE: SITUATION
Introduction 1. Situating Kadavu: Church, Chiefs, and the Creation of a Sense of Loss PART TWO: LAMENTATION2. Signs of the Golden Age 3. Sermons 4. Kava 5. Sacred Land and the Power of Prayer PART THREE: RECUPERATION6. Onward Christian Soldiers 7. The Road to Damascus Runs through Waisomo Village Notes References
What People are Saying About This
In God's Image raises numerous vital questions for anyone interested in Oceania. . . . This important book will help missiologists as the grapple with these questions."Missiology
"Offers valuable insights, confirming the relevance of solid academic work to critical social problems."Language
"An innovative and compelling book . . . a stimulating addition to both the anthropology of Christianity and the ethnographic literature on Fiji."Journal of Pacific History
"A valuable addition to the burgeoning literature on the subject."Oceania
"A thought-provoking contribution to the anthropology of Christianity and to our understanding of Fiji."Journal of Anthropological Research