Matt Tomlinson

Associate Professor
Image of Matt Tomlinson
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Phone +47-22857574
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Visiting address Moltke Moes vei 31 Eilert Sundts hus blokk A 0851 Oslo
Postal address Postboks 1091 Blindern 0317 Oslo

Academic interests

Thematic: cultural anthropology, semiotic and linguistic anthropology, ritual, religion, religious politics, performance, Christianity, Spiritualism

Regional: Oceania (esp. Fiji and Samoa), Australia

Courses taught

Background

Matt Tomlinson began conducting research on language, religion and politics in Fiji in 1996, and completed his dissertation in 2002 at the University of Pennsylvania. He has conducted three main research projects: (1) on the effectiveness of ritual in rural Fiji; (2) on indigenous Christian theologies in the central Pacific; and (3) on Spiritualism in Australia. Related work has focused on mana, kava drinking, dialogue and monologue, and engagements between anthropology and theology. He has taught at Bowdoin College (USA), Monash University (Melbourne, Australia), and the Australian National University (Canberra). He began his appointment at the University of Oslo in 2019.

Positions held

  • Associate Professor of Anthropology

Publications

 

Books (as Sole Author)

2014. Ritual Textuality: Pattern and Motion in Performance. New York: Oxford University Press.

2009. In God’s Image: The Metaculture of Fijian Christianity. Berkeley: University of California Press.

 

Books (as Coeditor)

2017. The Monologic Imagination. Edited with Julian Millie. New York: Oxford University Press.

2016. New Mana: Transformations in a Classic Concept in Pacific Languages and Cultures. Edited with Ty P. Kāwika Tengan. Canberra: ANU Press.

2013. Christian Politics in Oceania. Edited with Debra McDougall. New York: Berghahn.

2012. Flows of Faith: Religious Reach and Community in Asia and the Pacific. Edited with Lenore Manderson and Wendy Smith. Dordrecht: Springer.

2006. The Limits of Meaning: Case Studies in the Anthropology of Christianity. Edited with Matthew Engelke. New York: Berghahn.

 

Special Issues of Journals

2018. Conversations among Theology, Anthropology, and History. Edited with Jeanette Mathews. St. Mark’s Review 244 (June [2]).

2017. Social Formations of Wonder. Edited with Jaap Timmer. Journal of Religious and Political Practice 3(3).

 

Journal Articles

In press. Repetition in the Work of a Samoan Christian Theologian: Or, What Does It Mean to Speak of the Perfect Pig of God? History and Anthropology 29(5).

2018. Introduction: Conversations Between Theology, Anthropology, and History. Coauthored with Jeanette Mathews. St. Mark’s Review 244 (June [2]): 1-8.

2017. Try the Spirits: Power Encounters and Anti-Wonder in Christian Missions. Journal of Religious and Political Practice 3(3): 168-182; part of a special issue, “Social Formations of Wonder,” edited by Jaap Timmer and Matt Tomlinson.

2017. Introduction: Social Formations of Wonder. Coauthored with Jaap Timmer. Journal of Religious and Political Practice 3(3): 97-103; part of a special issue, “Social Formations of Wonder,” edited by Jaap Timmer and Matt Tomlinson.

2017. Christian Difference: A Review Essay. Comparative Studies in Society and History 59(3): 743-753.

2017. Afterword: Configuring Interiors. (Commentary on special section “Unbundling Sincerity,” ed. Niloofar Haeri.) HAU  7(1): 229-233.

2016. Little People, Ghosts, and the Anthropology of the Good. Journal of the Polynesian Society 125(1): 11-32.

2015. Gender in a Land-Based Theology. Oceania 85(1): 79-91.

2015. A Preliminary Historical Survey of the Pacific Journal of Theology. Pacific Journal of Theology, series II, 53: 51-66.

2014. Bringing Kierkegaard into Anthropology: Repetition, Absurdity, and Curses in Fiji. American Ethnologist 41(1): 163-175.

2014. Citational Practices: Knowledge, Personhood, and Subjectivity. Coauthored with Jane E. Goodman and Justin B. Richland. Annual Review of Anthropology 43: 449-463.

2014. Kava Hangover and Gold-Standard Science. Coauthored with S. ‘Apo’ Aporosa. Anthropologica 56(1): 163-175.

2013. Anthropological Perspectives on Oceanic Biblical Interpretation. Pacific Journal of Theology, series II, 50: 104-113.

2012. God Speaking to God: Translation and Unintelligibility at a Fijian Pentecostal Crusade. The Australian Journal of Anthropology 23(3): 274-289; part of a special issue, “Interlingual Articulations in Asia and the Pacific: Figuring Sociocultural Otherness through Otherness of Linguistic Codes,” edited by Alan Rumsey and Rupert Stasch.

2010. Compelling Replication: Genesis 1:26, John 3:16, and Biblical Politics in Fiji. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 16(4): 743-760.

2009. Efficacy, Truth, and Silence: Language Ideologies in Fijian Christian Conversions. Comparative Studies in Society and History 51(1): 64-90.

2009. New Paths in the Linguistic Anthropology of Oceania. Coauthored with Miki Makihara. Annual Review of Anthropology 38: 17-31.

2007. Publicity, Privacy, and “Happy Deaths” in Fiji. American Ethnologist 34(4): 706-720.

2007. Mana in Christian Fiji: The Interconversion of Intelligibility and Palpability. Journal of the American Academy of Religion 75(3): 524-553.

2007. Everything and Its Opposite: Kava Drinking in Fiji. Anthropological Quarterly 80(4): 1065-1081.

2006. Retheorizing Mana: Bible Translation and Discourse of Loss in Fiji. Oceania 76(2): 173-185.

2006. Reflexivity, Tradition, and Power: The Work of R.R. Nayacakalou. Ethnos 71(4): 489-506; part of a special issue, “Reflexivity in Others’ Contexts,” edited by Ilana Gershon.

2006. A Consuming Tradition: Kava Drinking in Fiji. Expedition 48(3): 8-17.

2004. Ritual, Risk and Danger: Chain Prayers in Fiji. American Anthropologist 106(1): 6-16.

2004. Perpetual Lament: Christianity and Sensations of Historical Decline in Fiji. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 10(3): 653-673.

2004. Memes and Metaculture: The Politics of Discourse Circulation in Fiji. The Australian Journal of Anthropology 15(2): 185-197.

2002. Sacred Soil in Kadavu, Fiji. Oceania 72(4): 237-257.

2002. Speaking of Coups Before They Happen: Kadavu, May-June 1999. Pacific Studies 25(4): 9-28.

2002. Religious Discourse as Metaculture. European Journal of Cultural Studies 5(1): 25-47.

 

Book Chapters

2017. Introduction: Imagining the Monologic. In The Monologic Imagination, eds. Matt Tomlinson and Julian Millie, pp. 1-18. New York: Oxford University Press.

2017. Conclusion: Religious and Political Terrain of the Monologic Imagination. Coauthored with Julian Millie. In The Monologic Imagination, eds. Matt Tomlinson and Julian Millie, pp. 259-267. New York: Oxford University Press.

2016. Introduction: Mana Anew. Coauthored with Ty P. Kāwika Tengan. In New Mana: Transformations in a Classic Concept in Pacific Languages and Cultures, eds. Matt Tomlinson and Ty P. Kāwika Tengan, pp. 1-36. Canberra: ANU Press.

2016. Theologies of Mana and Sau in Fiji. Coauthored with Sekove Bigitibau. In New Mana: Transformations in a Classic Concept in Pacific Languages and Cultures, eds. Matt Tomlinson and Ty P. Kāwika Tengan, pp. 237-256. Canberra: ANU Press.

2013. Christian Politics in Oceania. Coauthored with Debra McDougall. In Christian Politics in Oceania, eds. Matt Tomlinson and Debra McDougall, pp. 1-21. New York: Berghahn.

2013. The Generation of the Now: Denominational Politics in Fijian Christianity. In Christian Politics in Oceania, eds. Matt Tomlinson and Debra McDougall, pp. 78-102. New York: Berghahn.

2012. Beliefs beyond Borders and Communities of Faith. Coauthored with Lenore Manderson and Wendy Smith. In Flows of Faith: Religious Reach and Community in Asia and the Pacific, eds. Lenore Manderson, Wendy Smith, and Matt Tomlinson, pp. 1-12. Dordrecht: Springer.

2012. Passports to Eternity: Whales’ Teeth and Transcendence in Fijian Methodism. In Flows of Faith: Religious Reach and Community in Asia and the Pacific, eds. Lenore Manderson, Wendy Smith, and Matt Tomlinson, pp. 215-231. Dordrecht: Springer.

2011. The True Me: Individualism and Biblical Types in Fijian Methodism. In Managing Modernity in the Western Pacific, eds. Martha Macintyre and Mary Patterson, pp. 147-171. St. Lucia: University of Queensland Press.

2006. Meaning, Anthropology, Christianity. Coauthored with Matthew Engelke. In The Limits of Meaning: Case Studies in the Anthropology of Christianity, eds. Matthew Engelke and Matt Tomlinson, pp. 1-37. New York: Berghahn.

2006. The Limits of Meaning in Fijian Methodist Sermons. In The Limits of Meaning: Case Studies in the Anthropology of Christianity, eds. Matthew Engelke and Matt Tomlinson, pp. 129-146. New York: Berghahn.

Published Mar. 7, 2019 3:28 PM - Last modified Feb. 12, 2020 11:05 AM
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