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Keywords:

  • Christianity;
  • missions;
  • publicity;
  • privacy;
  • circulation;
  • death;
  • Fiji

In this article, I investigate death as a nexus around which public–private distinctions are made. An examination of Methodist missionary efforts at entextualizing “happy deaths” in 19th-century Fiji shows how the missionaries both attempted to create a Christian reading public “back home” but also unintentionally helped create a new private zone of the demonic. I analyze the private demonic zone through the constricted circulation of particular narratives heard after the death of a high chief in 2003.