Reimagining Christianity: The evolution of Christian beliefs in Melanesia from an Anglican perspective

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperConference paper


Melanesia is a vast region and within it many forms of Christianity have taken root. Consequently, Christian beliefs have evolved in many different and vibrant ways as they have interacted with the many diverse Melanesian cultures. The coming of Christianity to Melanesian contexts meant the introduction of many Christian denominations, introduced by European and North American missionaries all with their own theological positions and opinions on what they were trying to do and how to approach the diverse cultures and worldviews they encountered.
This paper will introduce how the Christianity that has emerged from these Christian traditions and missions is rich, vibrant and a unique synthesis of Melanesian and European cultural contexts making it both inter-cultural and inter-contextual. A particular focus will be on the work of the Melanesian Brotherhood, an indigenous Anglican religious order, well known for their evangelism and mission work across Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea and the work of emerging Melanesian theologians who, tapping into their denominational and diverse cultural contexts are exploring how God is present within their own cultural worldviews and on their own terms. Crucially there is often recognition that the various versions of Christianity introduced into Melanesia are themselves the products of various cultural traditions and a questioning of the assumptions and presuppositions that are made as they interact with diverse non-Western contexts.
Christianity is thus being reimagined within Melanesian cultures where key cultural concepts are affirmed in a Christian context and yet challenged and transformed by the idea that Christ is continually present within them. Much of this is dynamic, rich in potential and contains insights significant not only to Melanesia but also to theological contexts beyond.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationJustification by grace in East Asia A Lutheran-Anglican dialogue
Subtitle of host publicationon the occasion of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation
EditorsNicholas Ho Fai Tai, Carolyn Schneider
Place of PublicationHong Kong
PublisherLutheran Theological Seminary
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)9789881635006
Publication statusPublished - 2019
EventJustification by Grace in East Asia: A Lutheran-Anglican dialogue - Lutheran Theological Seminary, Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Duration: 23 Oct 201724 Oct 2017


ConferenceJustification by Grace in East Asia
Abbreviated titleOn the occasion of the 500th anniversary of Reformation
Country/TerritoryHong Kong
CityHong Kong
Internet address


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