This study surveys systematically the full scope of Melanesian religion, from traditional beliefs and practices to the development of strong indigenous Christian churches and theology. Garry Trompf writes from extensive knowledge of the social and religious aspects and from his own experience living and working in Papua New Guinea. Melanesian Religion provides an invaluable guide and analysis to pressing issues of religious and social change in the Pacific. It provides a useful overview for readers with general interests in the South Pacific region, and in the formulation of indigenous responses to external institutions, beliefs and value systems. The Melanesian peoples of the south-west Pacific form about one-quarter of the world's cultures - cultures in which a deep sense of spiritual consciousness has engendered rich diversity of religious experience. Professor Trompf argues that, to be complete, any interpretation of the social and economic patterns of Melanesian life, past and present, must take proper account of this religious context.
"This volume is noteworthy not only as the first 'introductory monograph' on Melanesian religion, but also as the first general work to give equal consideration to both traditional and Christian religious phenomena." Pacific Affairs "For the Melanesianist, Trompf's book satisfies a long-felt need for an accessible volume that encompasses Melanesian religions as a whole, a volume to recommend to university students and general readers within and beyond Melanesia." The Journal of Religion "...Trompf's book will be chiefly of interest to those seeking a general introduction to Melanesian religions." Karen Brison, E.W. Brill