Holger, “Beyond Globalisation and Localisation”

Holger, Jebens. 2011. Beyond Globalisation and Localisation: Denominational Pluralism in a Papua New Guinea Village. The Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology. 12(1): 91-110.

Abstract: Based on fieldwork in 1990–1 and 1995–6 in Pairundu (Papua New Guinea), the paper examines local Christianity as a form of local modernity which results from processes of mutual influence between the global and the local. So far, scholars have stressed opposed, but complementary aspects of such processes (the disappearance of cultural differences versus their increase, people attempting to break with tradition versus people acting in continuity with it) while seeing local modernity or local Christianity as overly homogenous. Yet, the example of Pairundu shows that men and women, older and younger generations as well as big men and ‘ordinary’ men have been competing with each other by adopting Catholic and Seventh-day Adventist forms of Christianity. While ‘intra-cultural’ differences, tensions and antagonisms may be particularly obvious in such a situation of denominational pluralism, there is no reason to believe that they must be absent where one denomination enjoys a religious monopoly.

A part of the special issue: Negotiating the Horizon-Living Christianity in Melanesia