Dance and Contextualization in the South Pacific Islands: Encounters with Adventist Christian Faith

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This dissertation investigates the attitudes and perceptions of the students and faculty towards dance for religious events at Pacific Adventist University (PAU). PAU is situated 14 miles outside Port Moresby, the capital city of Papua New Guinea. It attracts students (mainly Adventists) from many island countries across the South Pacific. A directed study of the biblical precedents regarding dance serves as a foundation to the rationale of engaging in dance for worship. I discuss some sources in Adventist Church theology on dance in relation to their relevance in the South Pacific. An overview of the role of traditional dance and how it influences worship music in the South Pacific is also attempted. This research on the Adventist perceptions and the practice of dance in Papua New Guinea (PNG) and other islands could help in leading a climate for change within PAU towards a model for contextualizing traditional dance for God's Kingdom ministry. Having established that to dance is biblical, the relationship between cultures and religion is pursued, potentially opening up many opportunities to communicate the gospel. Generally, it is hoped that what is practiced at PAU will spread to other parts of PNG especially in Adventist circles, and to various islands of the Pacific. To God be the praise!

Mentor: Roberta R. King

Degree Name

Doctor of Missiology (DMiss)

First Advisor

King, Roberta R.

Document Type





Dance, Pacific Adventist University, Seventh-Day Adventists


Missions and World Christianity


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