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CHRISTIAN POLITICS IN OCEANIA

Edited by Matt Tomlinson and Debra McDougall
With an Afterword by Webb Keane, University of Michigan

260 pages, 9 illus., 3 maps, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-0-85745-746-2 $90.00/£56.00 Hb Published (November 2012)

eISBN 978-0-85745-745-5 eBook $90.00/£56.00 Published


Hb eBook
 

The volume is refreshingly open and non-ideological...All the essays are detailed, thoughtful and considerably nuanced in their analyses. As such, the volume is a fine example of the emerging discipline of the anthropology of Christianity, finally not afraid to move into theology, history, psychology and sociology for a more complete analysis. Because of their common multi-disciplinary approach, the essays complement each other well.”  ·  Pacific Affairs

"From its first page, like all good anthropology, Christian Politics in Oceania challenges assumptions... The chapters…raise issues that are relevant to and important for Christianity and all religions. That a religion like Christianity is internally diverse; that it entangles with politics, traditional cultures, material objects and interests, and individual and collective divisions in society; and that it inevitably serves some governmental and 'state-like' functions are all points that anthropologists can profitably apply to all regions and to all religions."  ·  Anthropology Review Database

This is an edited volume that really works: path-breaking, sophisticated, ethnographically rich, epistemologically reflective in always illuminating and generative ways, with all of the constituent pieces speaking in fascinating and varied ways to key, shared themes of real value. The chapters all work together very well, and each is at the same time also distinctive in significant and often enjoyable waysGreat for the Pacific and well beyond.”  ·  Don Brenneis, University of California, Santa Cruz

This is an excellent book on a pivotal topic in the contemporary Pacific, where Christianity is routinely evoked in national politics, and where denominational differences both shape and emerge from local rivalries…[E]very contributor makes an argument, and each offers a range of propositions and insights that set the bar very high. This book will stand as the baseline and point of departure for subsequent efforts for some time to come.”  ·  Dan Jorgensen, University of Western Ontario

The phrase “Christian politics” evokes two meanings: political relations between denominations in one direction, and the contributions of Christian churches to debates about the governing of society. The contributors to this volume address Christian politics in both senses and argue that Christianity is always and inevitably political in the Pacific Islands. Drawing on ethnographic and historical research in Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, and Fiji, the authors argue that Christianity and politics have redefined each other in much of Oceania in ways that make the two categories inseparable at any level of analysis. The individual chapters vividly illuminate the ways in which Christian politics operate across a wide scale, from interpersonal relations to national and global interconnections.

Matt Tomlinson is currently an ARC Future Fellow in the Department of Anthropology at Australian National University's College of Asia and the Pacific.

Debra McDougall is Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Sociology at the University of Western Australia.

Related Link: Other Berghahn titles edited by Matt Tomlinson
The Limits of Meaning: Case Studies in the Anthropology of Christianity (with Matthew Engelke, 2006)

Series: Volume 2, ASAO Studies in Pacific Anthropology


LC: BR115.P7C245 2012

BL: YC.2013.a.13965

BISAC: SOC002010 SOCIAL SCIENCE/Anthropology/Cultural; REL000000 RELIGION/General; SOC039000 SOCIAL SCIENCE/Sociology of Religion

BIC: HRAM2 Religion & politics; JHMC Social & cultural anthropology, ethnography



Contents

Figures
Maps
Acknowledgments
Notes on Contributors

Chapter 1. Christian Politics in Oceania
Matt Tomlinson and Debra McDougall

Chapter 2. Mediating Denominational Disputes: Land Claims and the Sound of Christian Critique in the Waria Valley, Papua New Guinea
Courtney Handman

Chapter 3.“Heaven on Earth” or Satan’s “Base” in the Pacific?: Internal Christian Politics in the Dialogic Construction of the Makiran Underground Army
Michael W. Scott

Chapter 4. The Generation of the Now: Denominational Politics in Fijian Christianity
Matt Tomlinson

Chapter 5. Christian Politics in Vanuatu: Lay Priests and New State Forms
Annelin Eriksen

Chapter 6. Evangelical Public Culture: Making Stranger-Citizens in Solomon Islands
Debra McDougall

Chapter 7. Anthropology and the Politics of Christianity in Papua New Guinea
John Barker

Chapter 8. Chiefs, Church and State in Santa Isabel, Solomon Islands
Geoffrey White

Chapter 9. Why is There No Political Theology among the Urapmin?: On Diarchy, Sects as Big as Society, and the Diversity of Pentecostal Politics
Joel Robbins

Chapter 10. Afterword: Reflections on Political Theology in the Pacific
Webb Keane

Bibliography
Index

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