Straightening the path from the ends of the Earth: The deep sea canoe movement in Solomon Islands

Jaap Timmer*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


This chapter explores the transnational ties of a Christian evangelical religious movement called Deep Sea Canoe that is popular among Melanesian To'aibata speakers on the Island of Malaita, Solomon Islands. Solomon Islands is a Melanesian and pervasively Christian country in the Southwest Pacific that has a dynamic history of missionisation since the mid-nineteenth century and has seen the subsequent evolvement of a variety of ethno-religious movements. The example in this article illustrates a tendency of embracing modernity and the wider world through terms that are specific to To'abaita culture: pathmaking and straightening. By examining the present-day role of these terms in the ethno-theology of the Deep Sea Canoe Movement I will show that the urgency of millennial Christianity inclines To'abaitans to actively seek a straight path to Jerusalem instead of becoming recessive agents as documented for other Melanesian groups.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFlows of Faith
Subtitle of host publicationReligious Reach and Community in Asia and the Pacific
EditorsLenore Manderson, Wendy Smith, Matt Tomlinson
Place of PublicationDordrecht, Netherlands
PublisherSpringer, Springer Nature
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9789400729322
ISBN (Print)9400729316, 9789400729315
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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