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Disaster, divine Judgment, and original Sin: Christian interpretations of Tropical Cyclone Winston and climate change in Fiji

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Cox, J, Finau, G ORCID: 0000-0001-5708-8654, Kant, R, Titifanue, J and Tarai, J 2018 , 'Disaster, divine Judgment, and original Sin: Christian interpretations of Tropical Cyclone Winston and climate change in Fiji' , The Contemporary Pacific, vol. 30, no. 2 , 380–411 , doi: 10.1353/cp.2018.0032.

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Abstract

Paradise in the Pacific is often rendered as a natural state where "native" people live in simple harmony without the need for government or state institutions. However, Christian traditions also include paradise not simply as a state of innocence but also as a narrative of salvation history in which paradise is lost through original sin and must be restored through sacrifice and repentance. This article takes recent Fijian Christian interpretations of Tropical Cyclone Winston as a key site in which contested ideologies of Paradise are being reworked. As the idyll of island harmony is disrupted by disaster, Christians have seen Winston as an act of divine judgment and punishment on a sinful people. This essay analyzes how narratives of a sinful nation intersect with contemporary formulations of climate change, disaster, politics, and human agency.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Cox, J and Finau, G and Kant, R and Titifanue, J and Tarai, J
Keywords: disaster preparedness, Christianity, natural disasters, Fiji, paradise
Journal or Publication Title: The Contemporary Pacific
Publisher: Univ Hawaii Press
ISSN: 1043-898X
DOI / ID Number: 10.1353/cp.2018.0032
Copyright Information:

© 2018 by University of Hawai‘i Press

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