University of Hawaiʻi–West Oʻahu Assistant Professor of History Kealani Cook published “Ke Ao a me Ka Pō: Postmillennial Thought and Native Hawaiian Foreign Mission Work” in American Quarterly, the preeminent guide to American studies published by Johns Hopkins University Press.
Through Native Hawaiian missionary interactions with and treatment of other islanders between 1852 and 1900, Cook examines the effects of post-millennial thinking on Native Hawaiian relationships with their American missionary teachers, their Islander hosts and their own pre-Christian past.
Specifically he examines how the theological underpinnings of Native Hawaiian and American Congregationalism required Native Hawaiian Christians to prove their collective and individual “maturity” as a Christians and their readiness to control the church within Hawaiʻi. Foreign mission work allowed them to prove this maturity, yet it also placed the Native Hawaiian missionaries in a situation where proof of their own salvation and their distance from their pre-Christian past, came largely through the denunciation of their host peoples within the Marquesas and Micronesia.
Cook’s research focuses primarily on Native Hawaiian travels within the Pacific and relationships with other peoples of Oceania.