Stor[y]ing Deuteronomy 22:13–19 in Missionary Positions

Jione Havea


The success of the colonising missionary encounter in the South Pacific Islands was due in part to missionaries trespassing island-spaces, and yoking island-natives to transgress their own people and cultures in the name of Christianity. As the tide turns, this paper invites reading biblical texts, product of the missionary encounter, from the mission field on behalf of the culturally-crossed-and-in-some-cases-culturally-raped-natives.

The paper faces the virgin in Deuteronomy 22:13–19 as a figure for pre-missionary encountered natives, and suggests that preoccupation with virginity disguises, among other things, lost of virility. In other words, a husband (read: missionary) ‘can’t get it up’ (read: convert) so he claims that his wife (read: natives) was not a virgin.


Deuteronomy 22:13-19; Pacific; Story

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Bible and Critical Theory: ISSN 1832-3391