Claiming Christianity: The struggle over god and nation in Hawaiʻi, 1880-1900

by Ronald C Williams

Institution: University of Hawaii – Manoa
Year: 2016
Posted: 02/05/2017
Record ID: 2075436
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/10125/42321


Ph.D. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2013. A dominant, teleological narrative concerning Christianity in Hawaiʻi has described a fatalistic progression from the 1820 arrival of American Protestant missionaries to the 1893 overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy. It posits Christianity as a tool of foreign usurpers and has worked to elide Native claims on both God and nation. It is based almost exclusively on English-language research. This dissertation contests and complicates that narrative by foregrounding and analyzing the prolific actions of Native Christian patriots during the political struggles of the latter part of the nineteenth century in Hawaiʻi. It utilizes Hawaiian-language primary sources to examine how Christianity became a central tool of the Native struggle for the life of their land and lāhui. The extant record of Native Christian action and writing of this period offers an entirely new understanding of the relationship between the Mission, Christian institutions of the period, and Native Hawaiian Christianity.