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Bensley, Jennifer 1994 The Dani church of Irian Jaya and the challenges it is facing today, MA Thesis, Monash Asia Institute, Monash University.
    © Jennifer Bensley, 1994. Use of any part of this thesis for any purpose must be acknowledged.


In dealing with the topic of the Dani church in Irian Jaya and the challenges it is facing today, this thesis will address various aspects. Initially a brief history of Irian Jaya, and in particular of the Dani people, is given together with the advent of the Christian missionaries into their homeland. Leading on from there the thesis discusses development that has occurred and is occurring in Irian Jaya. This chapter is used to set the scene for later chapters in which the Dani reactions to rapid and various changes are discussed. Chapter three focuses in on the Dani church in the North Baliem Valley, its establishment and organisation. The background information provided on the church will be useful in discussing the nature of the present problems it is facing. The following two chapters attempt to deal with a number of issues that the Dani church and its community are facing at present. These have been collected under one of the two headings of "modemisation" and "Islamisation". This division was largely dependent on the responses I received from my Dani informants, who were obliging enough to be either interviewed by myself or complete a questionnaire for me. Their perception of whether certain issues were related to Islam or to "modernity" was the main criterion for issues being in one group or the other. The issues discussed are those which were portrayed by my respondents as challenging the Dani church over the July to August 1994 period. I conclude the thesis with an overview of its contents, and focus on the problems the Dani church is facing, together with its reaction to them.


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