"Forget who we are and let the people free" : changing Christianities and tradition in post tsunami Samoa
AuthorHolmgaard, Sanne Bech
In September 2009, the south Pacific islands of Samoa were hit by a tsunami causing severe material damage and casualties. Based on empirical data from two tsunami affected villages, this thesis explores how members of the affected populations make sense the tsunami and engage in post disaster processes of social change. As will be illustrated, religious interpretations of the tsunami were expressed and emphasised by people in the affected villages, incorporating the disaster into existing catagories and Christian cosmologies of divine agency, the Second Coming, morality and tradition. This thesis analyses how people actively act upon their understandings of disaster in post tsunami processes of social and religious change. Taking a processual approach to diasters, I explore how ongoing processes of religious change, social and economic conditions and development in traditional practices have interacted with the disaster situation. The thesis analyses how local actors make sense of the tsunami according to their religious affiliations and make use of these interpretations in bringing about or opposing religious change in the disaster aftermath.
PublisherUniversitetet i Tromsø
University of Tromsø
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