Coming of the light: spirituality in diaspora

Salisbury, David (2011) Coming of the light: spirituality in diaspora. In: Refereed Papers from the Seventh International Small Islands Cultures Conference, pp. 83-90. From: ISIC 7 - 2011 7th International Small Islands Conference, 12-15 June 2011, Airlie Beach, QLD, Australia.

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Abstract

Townsville hosts one of the largest populations of Torres Strait Islander people outside of the Torres Straits, and the community makes a valuable contribution to the fabric of cultural diversity in Townsville. The 'Coming of the Light' is an annual celebration in recognition of the first missionaries entering the Torres Strait Islands on 1 July 1871. The day is a celebration of lifestyle and heritage with presentations of activities such as traditional songs, cultural performances and feasting. This paper aims to explore the connections of culture, spirituality, identity and community with the 'Coming of the Light' ceremony as the focus of a case study based on the re-enactment at the St. Stephens Anglican Church in Townsville officiated by Father Elemo Tapim. This project also celebrates the Townsville Torres Strait Islander community as a vital component of Townsville cultural diversity and ties in with the James Cook University research focus of enhancing life in the tropics. This study establishes how this event impacts on lives of the congregation and the significance of this celebration in the annual calendar of the community. Connections are made between pre-Christian belief of the Torres Strait Islanders and the adaptation of Christianity as the main religion in their lives. Evidence is given as to why this ceremony is significant to Torres Strait Islander people and specifically the St. Stephens Anglican Church community.

Item ID: 19836
Item Type: Conference Item (Refereed Research Paper - E1)
Keywords: Torres Strait, North Queensland, diaspora, spirituality, community
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Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2012 04:43
FoR Codes: 19 STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING > 1904 Performing Arts and Creative Writing > 190401 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Performing Arts @ 100%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9599 Other Cultural Understanding > 959999 Cultural Understanding not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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