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Title: Christianity, Calamity, and Culture: The Involvement of Christian Churches in the 1998 Aitape Tsunami Disaster Relief 
Author: Fountain, Philip M; Kindon, Sara L; Murray, Warwick E
Date: 2004
Publisher: University of Hawai'i Press
Center for Pacific Islands Studies
Citation: Fountain, P. M., S. L. Kindon, and W. E. Murray. 2004. Christianity, Calamity, and Culture: The Involvement of Christian Churches in the 1998 Aitape Tsunami Disaster Relief. The Contemporary Pacific 16 (2): 321-55.
Abstract: This paper considers the links between religion and disaster relief through a
detailed case study of the activities of Christian churches following the Aitape tsunami
of 1998 in northwest Papua New Guinea. Based on primary fieldwork data,
we argue that Christian religion was central to the way in which the Combined
Churches Organization conducted its relief work and to why it sought to undertake
it in the first place. A comparison of the perspectives of this organization and
of other religious and governmental organizations as to the causes of this disaster
and what remedies they should undertake suggests that greater attention should
be paid—both by aid and development researchers and practitioners—to aspects
of religious belief and the way they inform theory and practice. Much remains to
explore concerning the ways religion informs the theory and practice of aid and
development, particularly in the Pacific. Through the detailed case study offered
here, this paper adds to the fledgling debate engaging with the links between religion
and development and calls for the initiation of an agenda toward that end.
ISSN: 1043-898X
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10125/13808
Keywords: Christianity, aid and development, disaster relief, Melanesia, Aitape tsunami
LC Subject Headings: Oceania -- Periodicals.

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