Compelling replication: Genesis 1:26, John 3:16, and biblical politics in Fiji

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    During fieldwork, I heard indigenous Fijians in Kadavu Island refer to Genesis 1:26 more often than to any other Bible verse, and in multiple contexts. It resonated with popular discourse about decline and loss and was used to motivate attempts at personal and collective transformation. Comparison with John 3:16, which circulates well in American evangelical contexts but is not as prominent in Fijian discourse, reveals how the circulation of both verses depends on the perception of gaps that motivate a shift from dissemination to replication. In the case of Fijian use of Genesis 1:26, a double movement of replication occurs: the printed text has been reshaped into a poetically paraphrased form which has become a new standard, and use of the verse is meant to compel actions that draw the Fijian vanua (land, people, chiefdoms, and tradition) into closer alignment with divine plans.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)743-760
    JournalJournal of the Royal Anthropological Institute
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2010


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