The Religions of Oceania

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Routledge, 1995 - Religion - 244 pages
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More than a quarter of the world's discrete religions are to be found in the regions of Australia, Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia, together called Oceania. This is the first book to bring together up-to-date information on this great variety of traditional religious beliefs and practices, which have been profoundly influential on the theories and understandings of religion in general. A comprehensive survey of the changing and various religions in the Pacific zone, The Religions of Oceania documents traditional cultures and beliefs and examines indigenous Christianity and its wide influence across the region. It covers the backgrounds to and development of traditional religions, and includes analysis of the new religious movements generated by the response of indigenous peoples to colonists and missionaries, the best known of these being the so-called 'cargo-cults' of Melanesia. The authors present a thorough and accessible survey of the diversity of religious practices in the area, and provide clear interpretative tools and a mine of fascinating information to help the student better understand the world's most complex ethnographic tapestry.

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About the author (1995)

TONY SWAIN is a Lecturer in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Sydney, Australia.

GARRY W. TROMPF is Professor in the History of Ideas, Department of Studies in Religion, University of Sydney. He is the author of over fifteen books including The Idea of Historical Recurrence in Western Thought, Melanesian Religion, and Payback.

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