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Hayward, Douglas James 1992 Christianity and the Traditional Beliefs of the Mulia Dani: An Ethnography of Religious Belief among the Western Dani of Irian Jaya, Indonesia, PhD Dissertation, University of California, Santa Barbara.
    © Douglas James Hayward, 1992. Use of any part of this thesis for any purpose must be acknowledged.

Abstract

This dissertation is based upon 20 years of missionary work during which time the author sought to combine the dual roles of missionary and anthropologist. It seeks to document, by the use of ethnographic analyses, the interaction that is occurring between two belief systems following the introduction of Christianity into a previously uncontacted tribal people, the Dani, living in Irian Jaya, Indonesia. Each chapter focuses on a component of the belief system of the Dani, beginning with a detailed analysis of their traditional beliefs and practices at the time of contact. Each chapter then describes the specific form of Christianity that was introduced (evangelical fundamentalism). Finally, each chapter describes how Dani Christians have understood, reinterpreted, and applied their Christian beliefs and practices. Following the introduction, chapter two examines themes found in the Dani oral tradition (74 examples are included in the Appendix), and shows how Bible stories and contemporary science have replaced or altered these stories and their role in Dani society. Chapter three examines the traditional cosmology of the Dani and shows how a belief in God, angels and the Devil have been incorporated into this cosmology. Chapter four examines Dani leadership roles and shows how Christianity has transformed big men into church men, or administrators. Chapter five examines the Dani use of sacred objects, the destruction of these objects at the time of their conversion, and the continuing Dani fear that they are still being used. Chapters six and seven examine the sacred rituals of the Dani noting in particular how Christianity has sought to refocus the ceremonial life of the Dani away from that of life and death, war and peace, to that of worship and instruction, incorporation and fellowship. Chapter eight examines a series of cargo movements among the Dani, from the time of their contact until the present, as evidence that the Dani continue to perceive life from a cargoistic worldview. The dissertation concludes that Dani culture has been changed in varying degrees by its contact with Christianity, but that Christianity has likewise been changed, creating a uniquely Melanesian expression of the Christian religion.


Ringkasan

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