Accepted paper:

Wonderful Christian geographies in historicities for state-building on Malaita, Solomon Islands

Author:

Jaap Timmer (Macquarie University)

Paper short abstract:

In this paper I explore how a North Malaitan prophet produces a wonderful historicity and evokes a process of state-building at the level of local communities, conflicting with the world of existing institutions and values.

Paper long abstract:

In this paper I explore the production and proclamation of wonderful historicities for the To'abaita of North Malaita. The leading futurist in the region is the prophet of the Pentecostal All People's Prayer Assembly (APPA) from North Malaita, Solomon Islands who has recently employed 16th century Spanish satanic epics of exploration of the Pacific in his evolving theology. While national and European versions of the modern history of Solomon Islands tend to commence with the wondrous attempt by Alvaro Mendaña to locate King Solomon's Ophir (1 Kings 9:26-28) in 1568, Maeliau holds Pedro Fernández de Quirós's 1605 voyage to "La Australia del Espíritu Santo" as evidence that Solomon Islanders have always been in a covenant with God. Maeliau occupies this historical space by suggesting that Solomon Islanders are Israelites, that their fate is prophesized in the Old Testament, and that De Quirós's crusading expedition was part of God's plan to redeem the Pacific. In this paper I will show how this futurist's wonderful new Christian geography evokes and underpins a process of state-building at the level of local communities, conflicting with the world of existing institutions and values.

panel Rel01
The social formation of wonder