Strathern's Melanesian 'dividual' and the Christian 'individual': a Perspective from Vanua Lava, Vanuatu

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    What happens to people's concept of the person when their 'dividuality' engages with the Christian concept of the 'individual'? According to Vanua Lava kastom, when people die they go to sere timiat, the place of the dead. But do they still go there when the person had been a Christian during their life time? Where is the Christian heaven and hell? Is there a separate Christian 'soul'? Will the dead be eternally separated from each other and their ancestors? Can kastom and Christian concepts be reconciled? Depending on denomination and degree of conversion (devout, nominal, or 'back-slider') people have found multiple answers that help them conceptualise their final resting place. Their answers are of relevance for theoretical debates in anthropology about dividuality, individuality and engagement with modernity.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)285-296
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2006


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