Oroi, “‘Press the Button, Mama!’ Mana and Christianity on Makira, Solomon Islands”

Oroi, Aram. 2016. “‘Press the Button, Mama!’ Mana and Christianity on Makira, Solomon Islands.” In Matt Tomlinson and Ty P. Kāwika Tengan, eds., New Mana Transformations of a Classic Concept in Pacific Languages and Cultures. Canberra: ANU Press.

Excerpt: In this chapter, I discuss the implicit theology of mana in the context of that ‘spiritual switch’ in Makiran Christianity. Mena is the native Arosi word for mana. To explore the implicit theology of mena/mana, I begin with examples of events I have experienced as an Anglican priest serving the community. Next, I review selected literature on mana, considering the usefulness of scholarly accounts for the Makiran context. Finally, I pose questions about mana and efficacy in relation to the idea of pressing buttons and the work of the Holy Spirit. I argue that a proper understanding of mana is vital to the continuing e orts of contextualising the Gospel in Makiran Christianity and clarifying Makiran contextual theology for scholars interested in the social dynamics of Solomon Islands religion.