Laidlaw Research Seminar - Terry Pouono
Faith And Works … Or Works and Faith? A Performative Faith in Samoan Churches

Christian education has always been essential for propagating the Christian gospel in church circles. For many Samoan churches, it is necessary to continue utilising Christian traditions passed down by Christian missions, such as catechisms, the reading of Scripture, and an exposition of the Bible. Traditionally, a key feature in forming one’s faith is the acquisition and application of biblical knowledge and theological reflection, leading to good Christian practice.  

This seminar addresses how Samoan churches minister to the gospel message in a different light. In addition to the traditional methods, Samoan churches also value the performative aspect of expressing one’s faith through worship—an organised choir, group skits, creative dances, and a well-prepared sermon mark this liturgy.  

Looking at the broader church ministry, the physical manifestation of one’s faith through active, committed service to the church ministry is a sign of good faith. This is evident through monetary offerings, faithful service in church roles and responsibilities, and a commitment to all church programs. The Samoan cultural framework underpinned by community and service helps form an authentic expression of Samoan Christian identity.  

With an emphasis on the performative aspect, what are the implications for Pacific Island learners at Laidlaw College?

If you would like to attend, the seminar will be held in person on campus in Lecture Room 2 or you can join via zoom here: https://laidlaw.zoom.us/j/82610150130?from=addon Meeting ID: 826 1015 0130

Where Henderson Campus
When 12:30pm - 1:30pm
Cost FREE & open to the public

About the Speaker

A graduate of Malua Theological College, University of Geneva/ Bossey Ecumenical Institute, and the University of Auckland. In addition to his theology degree, Terry also has a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Certificate in Adult Tertiary Teaching. Terry has taught at Malua Theological College in Samoa and is currently a lecturer with Laidlaw College.  

Terry loves teaching theology and having ‘talanoa’ (conversations) with his students. This dialogical approach to learning enriches the theological learning with an integration of theory and practice. Terry has a special interest in intercultural studies, lecturing in Gospel and culture and Majority world theology.

About Laidlaw Research Seminars

As a part of Laidlaw’s commitment to relevant, gospel-centred, innovative research, the School of Theology faculty gather each month for a research seminar. The seminars are built around a simple format—one academic presentation followed by critical interaction. Anyone is welcome to join us—this could include postgrad students, researchers from other institutions, or any others looking to hear and interact with cutting edge theological and biblical research.