Long before the Lele people of Papua New Guinea had significant contact with the Western world and Christianity, they had developed a framework for understanding sickness and healing with a strong emphasis on the unseen world. This study examines how mature Lele Christians of the Evangelical Church of Manus assess traditional health concepts in light of their Christian faith and Scripture. By using cognitive theory as an interpretive approach, this research serves as a case study to illustrate the mental processes that take place when Christians in an animistic context make sense of their traditional culture.
Simon Herrmann spent 15 years in Papua New Guinea, the United States and Malaysia. He now works as a research associate at the Department of Intercultural Theology at the Internationale Hochschule Liebenzell.