Emplacement and Millennial Expectations in an Era of Development and Globalization: Heaven and the Appeal of Christianity for the Ipili

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Abstract

Non-Western Christianity engages with capitalist development and ideas of modernization from multiple and competing perspectives. In this article, I argue that as researchers we can weave together disparate theoretical strands attempting to explain the appeal of Christianity—particularly its Pentecostal and charismatic forms—by examining indigenous notions of “salvation” that have often been overlooked in the literature. To illustrate, I examine millennial Christianity among the Ipili of Papua New Guinea, demonstrating how their understandings of “heaven” and their desire for the Second Coming articulate with a concern regarding how social relations are spatialized through engagement with capitalist mining development, evangelical Christianity, and traditional spirits responsible for maintaining the world's integrity.

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