Woven Together? Christianity and Development between New Zealand and the Pacific

Victoria University of Wellington's Religious Studies Programme is hosting a conference investigating the relationships between Christianity and development in the Pacific.

The conference brings together an exciting line-up of presenters including leading scholars from New Zealand, Australia and different parts of the Pacific to analyse the complex relationships between religion and socio-political processes in the Pacific. The event will be of particular interest to those with an interest in Pacific, international aid and development, anthropology, history, and religion.

Date:  9-10 June 2016
Venue: Hunter Council Chamber, Hunter Building, Kelburn Campus, Victoria University of Wellington
Organisers: Philip Fountain and Geoff Troughton
The weaving together of Christianity and Pacific cultures has a long and rich history. While this encounter has been marked by ebbs and flows, it is nevertheless the case that Oceania is now rightly regarded as “the most solidly Christian part of the world” (Forman 1982: 227). Christianity, in its many different forms, plays remarkably important roles in social, cultural, economic and political life. As Tomlinson and McDougall (2013: 3) have argued, the pervasiveness of Christianity is such that it is “the ground and starting point for political action”; politics and Christianity are “inseparable at any level of analysis.” And yet, surprisingly, this observation has only rarely had any noticeable impact on scholarly analysis of the roles that Christianity plays in development and humanitarian activities in the region.

This conference seeks to examine Christianity as a development actor by investigating the roles that Christianity has played in influencing development and humanitarian practices, ideologies, rituals, networks and imaginations in the Pacific. The conference will also probe the flip-side of this relationship; namely, the ways in which development and humanitarianism have influenced and reshaped Pacifika Christianities. The conference is interested in analysing all aspects of the interweaving of Christianity and development in the Pacific.
For the full programme and information about registration visit: http://www.victoria.ac.nz/sacr/research/religious-studies/woven-together-conference