This study surveys systematically the full scope of Melanesian religion, from traditional beliefs and practices to the development of strong indigenous Christian churches and theology. Garry Trompf writes from extensive knowledge of the social and religious aspects and from his own experience living and working in Papua New Guinea. Melanesian Religion provides an invaluable guide and analysis to pressing issues of religious and social change in the Pacific. It provides a useful overview for readers with general interests in the South Pacific region, and in the formulation of indigenous responses to external institutions, beliefs and value systems. The Melanesian peoples of the south-west Pacific form about one-quarter of the world's cultures - cultures in which a deep sense of spiritual consciousness has engendered rich diversity of religious experience. Professor Trompf argues that, to be complete, any interpretation of the social and economic patterns of Melanesian life, past and present, must take proper account of this religious context.
|Publisher:||Cambridge University Press|
|Edition description:||Pbk ed.|
|Product dimensions:||7.44(w) x 9.69(h) x 0.63(d)|
Table of ContentsList of plates; List of maps and tables; Preface; Part I. The Old Time: 1. Melanesian traditional religions: an overview; 2. Death and the after-life in traditional belief and practice; 3. The logic of retribution; 4. Magic, sorcery and healing; 5. Dream, vision and trance in traditional and changing Melanesia; Part II. The New Time: 6. The coming and the consequences of the missionaries; 7. The Catholic missions: a case history; 8. The interpretation of cargo cults; 9. Independent churches; 10. Secularization for Melanesia?; 11. Melanesian and Pacific theology; Select bibliography; Index.