Church presence and gender relations in the Wonenara valley (Eastern Highlands Province, Papua New Guinea)

Abstract : Since 1951, date of the First contact, the Baruya of the Wonenara valley has twice been a pioneering frontline for Protestant missions. First in the 1960s, when several Lutheran and SDA pastors moved in, and the second time at the turn of the 2000s, when three “New Evangelical Churches” settled in the valley. After presenting the history of the presence of these five Churches, I analyse the pastors' ideas as expressed during services or in informal discussions about the place of women in daily life and in church, and about gender relations more generally. The observation of church services reveals also a possibility of women for speaking in public that was hitherto unknown. Moreover, the pastors’ origins (Baruya or non Baruya) seem to play a role in the way they talk about women during their services, whatever their Church may say.
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Contributor : Pascale Bonnemère <>
Submitted on : Sunday, July 7, 2019 - 5:22:22 PM
Last modification on : Sunday, July 7, 2019 - 5:22:27 PM

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Pascale Bonnemère. Church presence and gender relations in the Wonenara valley (Eastern Highlands Province, Papua New Guinea). Australian Journal of Anthropology, Wiley, 2016, Gender and Christianity in Melanesia: Towards a Unified analysis, 27 (2), pp.206-225. ⟨10.1111/taja.12194⟩. ⟨hal-01298572⟩

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