Mai Kea Ki Vei? Stories of Methodism in Fiji and Rotuma, 1835-1995

Article excerpt

Mai Kea Ki Vei?Stories of Methodism in Fiji and Rotuma, 1835-1995. Edited by Andrew Thornley and Tauga Vulaono. Suva, Fiji: Fiji Methodist Church, 1996. Pp. xi, 329. No price given.

This book commemorating 160 years of Methodism in Fiji is the outgrowth of a conference held in Fiji in October 1995, in which over eighty people gathered to reflect oral tradition and personal stories of the Methodist Church in Fiji and Rotuma. The bulk of the book contains twelve of the conference papers written by Fijian scholars as well as by some well-known Pacific mission historians such as Charles Forman and John Garrett. These more academically oriented papers cover such topics as Methodism in the Pacific and Fiji context (Forman), Fijians in the Methodist ministry (Thornley), women in Fijian Methodism (Sovaki), Fijian missionaries in Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands (lakes), leadership patterns in the Methodist Church (Niukula), the Indian Christian Church in Fiji (Mastapha), and biographical vignettes of John Hunt (Kanailagi), Josua Mateninaniu (Baleiwaqa), and Ratu Varani (Cabenalevu).

The book is written in both English and Fijian. A Fijian summary follows each of the conference papers written in English. The oral-tradition stories are in Fijian. In many ways this is a good model for non-Western churches reflecting on their history.

This book helps us understand the Methodist Church in Fiji in at least the following three ways. …

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