Pacific Millennial Movements

Garry W. Trompf

in The Oxford Handbook of Millennialism

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780195301052
Published online January 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Pacific Millennial Movements

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This article is a description of Pacific millennial movements. Distinctive Pacific Islander millennialisms have emerged in the context of rapid social change, of unexpected contact with outsiders, colonial incursion and control, and decisive technological shifts. The advent of an order of new things brought an end to the age-old modes of subsistence and was implicitly eschatological in its impact on islanders. Various meanings invested in new goods gave rise to social activities, which are known as cargo cults exhibiting cargoistic behavior. These introduced internationally marketed, commodity-style goods, via cargo. This article gives an overview of cargo cultism. Cargoism or cargo cultism preached the destruction of indigenous means of sustenance. While pragmatism and economic convergence occurred eventually, the cult orientation still persists at ritualistic levels. Apart from this, there were other millennialisms in the Pacific, which are discussed in this article.

Keywords: Pacific millennial movements; cargo cults; cargoistic behavior; pragmatism; economic convergence; cult orientation

Article.  9289 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Religious Studies ; Alternative Belief Systems ; Christianity

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