In God's Image

In God's Image

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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 actiona€”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.At various times he conducted discussions somewhat akin to the Seventh-day Adventist Bible study sessions described by Miyazaki (2000: 34-35). ... and then proposing their own solutions: aquot;Although rounds of questions and answers begin as contests among elders ... Besides being a creative thinker and a good preacher, he was a strong manual worker, tending his gardens as a traditional farmer.

Title:In God's Image
Author: Matthew Akim Tomlinson
Publisher:Univ of California Press - 2009-03-10

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