1st Edition

My God, My Land Interwoven Paths of Christianity and Tradition in Fiji

By Jacqueline Ryle Copyright 2010

    Examining the multifaceted nature of Christianity in Fiji, My God, My Land reveals the deeply complex and often paradoxical dynamics and tensions between processes of change and continuity as they unfold in representations and practices of Christianity and tradition in people's everyday lives. The book draws on extensive, multi-sited fieldwork in different denominations to explore how shared values and cultural belonging are employed to strengthen relations. As such My God, My Land will be of interest to anthropologists of Oceania as well as scholars and students researching into social and cultural change, ritual, religion, Christianity, enculturation and contextual theology.

    Contents: Series Editors’ Preface: woven histories and inter-denominational anthropology, Pamela J. Stewart and Andrew Strathern; Prologue: the dust of creation; Introduction: interwoven representations of past and present; Paths across space and time; Healing the land; A path of mats: a village funeral in Nadroga; Paths of reciprocity; Roots and powerful new currents: redefining Christianity and tradition; Healing brokenness: Catholic charismatic rites of healing and reconciliation; Dignity in difference: paths of dialogue in diversity; Bibliography; Appendices; Index.


    Jacqueline Ryle is an editorial consultant who has researched and taught at the University of Copenhagen and The Pacific Regional Seminary, Fiji

    'A phenomenologically nuanced, ethnographically detailed and compellingly written exploration of spatial-temporal dimensions of being, belonging and boundedness in the social imaginaries of Fijian Christians negotiating turbulent times.' Michael D. Jackson, Harvard Divinity School, USA 'This book provides a major contribution to the Anthropology of Christianity. Interweaving history and ethnography, Jacqueline Ryle presents us with a beautifully nuanced and vivid picture of politics, religion and tradition in contemporary Fiji. But she also does something much more than this: she has produced a powerful account of the analytical and moral opportunities provided by relationality itself.' Simon Coleman, University of Toronto, Canada 'This is an impressive book... The author's research has been wide and deep. What is so impressive is that anthropology is increasingly taking more seriously the Christian faith of Pacific peoples and not assuming that their pre-Christian 'traditional religion' is necessarily a more significant area of study. ... One hopes that the book will make a useful contribution to ongoing discussions about the roles of church and state in Fiji.' Modern Believing 'Jacqueline Ryle's ethnographically rich and nuanced monograph attempts to understand the ways in which the church and their leaders have attempted to respond to the complex and often confusing situation in which they have found themselves, as they ponder the broader national and regional implications of their actions and strategies... The work benefits from the author's own Christian background and her participant ethnography. It is refreshing to see a work such as this, which is historically informed and respectful of peoples' own views of their predicaments and aspirations, rather than seeing things through the lens of prescribed theoretical paradigms... The book will appeal to scholars of contemporary Christianity in the Pacific islands, to historians and political scientists trying