Robert Louis Stevenson and the Pacific Islands re-orients the intellectual biography of Robert Louis Stevenson by presenting him in the distinctive cultural environment of the Pacific. The book argues that Stevenson was religiously literate within a Scottish Presbyterian tradition and therefore well placed to grasp with subtlety the breadth and dynamics of a Christianized Pacific culture. It considers his legacy with respect to issues of indigenous sovereignty and agency and positions him within an important and wide-ranging modern debate about inculturation, defined as the emergence of Christianity from within a particular culture rather than imposed on it from outside. Through this study of a major Scottish writer, the book offers a model of interdisciplinary scholarship.
L. Michael Ratnapalan is Associate Professor of History at Underwood International College, Yonsei University. He has published widely on modern intellectual and cultural history, with a focus on Britain's interactions with the wider world.