Globalization and the Re-shaping of Christianity in the Pacific Islands

In recent years religion has received a good deal of attention in the discourse of globalization. Christianity in its Pentecostal-charismatic, evangelical and fundamentalist forms, seems to have thrived in the globalizing climate.

As will be clearly shown in detailed country case studies from the Pacific Islands, there is overwhelming evidence that Pentecostal-charismatic, evangelical-fundamentalist and a number of marginal Protestant groups have experienced a rapid growth in this region, as they have worldwide. This has led to an ongoing reshaping of the religious landscape in the different Pacific Island nations. The changes in religious affiliation have also led to an unprecedented diversity of Christian Denominations in the region.

The information presented in this book is based on research carried out over the past four years (2001-2005) in thirteen island nations of the region and attempts to give an accurate account of changes of changes in religious affiliation the Pacific Islands over the past 50 years. The authors examine the reasons for the ongoing re-shaping of Christianity in the Pacific Islands and provide background information about the variety of newer religious groups, mainline denominations and para-church organizations. In order to make sense of all this the extent to which globalization processes have contributed to the rapid growth and proliferation of a variety of Pentecostal-charismatic-evangelical-fundamentalist and other new religious groups in the region are explored.

This is the most systematic account available of contemporary developments of Christianity in the Pacific Islands. The book will be enlightening not only to students and academics but also to policy makers, and all those interested in the profound effects of modernization processes on individuals and societies in the Pacific Islands

The editor:

Professor Manfred Ernst was the Director for Projects and Research at the Pacific Theological College in Suva, Fiji Islands. He has now retired in his home country of Germany.