Pasifika Theologies


Pasifika theologies arise from and engage with concerns from the sea of islands designated by European colonists as ‘Pacific Islands’. Use of the term ‘Pasifika’ is itself a push back towards self-designation, self-naming, self-determination.

Terms are shifting. Sometimes ‘moana theology’ is preferred, emphasising the ocean rather than the islands. Other times, ‘Oceanic theology’ is used, and can indicate an intentional encircling of the larger islands of the region, Aotearoa New Zealand and Australia, and so attention to Maōri and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander theologies.

Search Terms

  • Pasifika
  • moana
  • Oceanic
  • colonialism
  • decolonial

Call Numbers


  • Vanua: A Fijian Theology of Place, by I. Sevati Tuwere (Suva: PTC Press, 2nd edition 2023). Seveti Tuwere (d. 2022) was a Methodist theologian who served as principal of Pacific Theological College, a powerhouse of regional theologising.
  • Waves of God’s Embrace: Sacred Perspectives from the Ocean (Norwich: Canterbury Press, 2008). Winston Halapua is a Tongan theologian living in Fiji who served as Anglican archbishop of Polynesia.

Reference Texts

  • Christianity in Oceania, ed. by Kenneth Ross, Katalina Tahaafe-Williams and Todd Johnson (Edinburgh: Edinburgh UP, 2022)
  • Restoring Identities: The Contextualizing Story of Christianity in Oceania, ed. by Upolu Lumā Vaai and Mark A. Lamport (Eugene: Cascade, 2023)
  • South Pacific Theology, ed. by Sione ’Amanaki Havea (Oxford: Regnum Books, 1986). A collection of conference papers that is widely regarded as marking the beginnings of intentionally regional theology.
  • Theologies from the Pacific, ed. by Jione Havea (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2021) is the closest thing to a Pasifika ‘systematics’. Note in this very important contribution the chapter on a ‘Pacific Theology of Celebration’ discussing the ‘coconut theology’ of Sione ’Amanaki Havea.

Other Important Texts