Book launch: A Mission Divided

Dr Kirstie Close-Barry, a descendant of the Lelean, Waterhouse and Churchward families who worked over several generations as Methodist missionaries in Fiji, considers her family's role in Fiji's past in her first book, A Mission Divided. She illuminates the ways in which the Methodist mission reinforced structural separation between Indigenous and Indo-Fijian communities throughout the 20th century, through efforts to establish an independent church that would reflect a 'national' character. Tracing the adoption of ideas that emerged from anthropology through the twentieth century, as well as missionaries' own understandings of culture and race, she has unearthed some of the roots of ethno-nationalism that surfaced in post-colonial Fiji. Including conflicts, challenges and collaborations from the administrative centres to the villages, this book will be relevant to people interested in cross-cultural governance and colonial institutions.