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In God's Image

The Metaculture of Fijian Christianity

Matthew Akim Tomlinson (Author)

Available worldwide

Paperback, 263 pages
ISBN: 9780520257788
March 2009
$34.95, £28.00
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.
List of Illustrations
Preface and Acknowledgments

1. Situating Kadavu: Church, Chiefs, and the Creation of a Sense
of Loss

2. Signs of the Golden Age
3. Sermons
4. Kava
5. Sacred Land and the Power of Prayer

6. Onward Christian Soldiers
7. The Road to Damascus Runs through Waisomo Village

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.
“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.”—Kenneth Nehrbass Missiology
“Offers valuable insights, confirming the relevance of solid academic work to critical social problems.”—Language In Society
“An innovative and compelling book which makes a stimulating addition to both the anthropology of Christianity and the ethnographic literature on Fiji.”—Susanna Trnka Journal Of Pacific History
“A valuable addition to the burgeoning literature on the subject.”—Garry Trompf Oceania
“A thought-provoking contribution to the anthropology of Christianity and to our understanding of Fiji.”—Karen J. Brison Journal Of Anthropological Research

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