Original Research

Transformation of elementary Puang Matua in Toraja belief system into Christianity

Darius Darius, Sonny Eli Zaluchu
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 44, No 1 | a2831 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v44i1.2831 | © 2023 Darius Darius, Sonny Eli Zaluchu | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 18 February 2023 | Published: 26 September 2023

About the author(s)

Darius Darius, Department of Theology, Faculty of Theology and Sociology, Institut Agama Kristen Negeri Toraja, Tana Toraja, Indonesia
Sonny Eli Zaluchu, Department of Theology, Sekolah Tinggi Teologi Baptis Indonesia, Semarang, Indonesia


This study aimed to examine missionaries’ success in transforming the elementary Puang Matua from the Toraja religion of Aluk Todolo into a Christian-based one. Puang Matua is the name of the Toraja people’s god that created the earth and everything. The concept was transformed into Christianity through contextualisation efforts to become a God of the Universe (YHWH). Descriptive analysis showed that the reconstruction was supported by the theological similarities between Puang Matua’s concept and the conception of God the Creator. The theological similarity is an absolute requirement for successful contextualisation to introduce Christianity into indigenous peoples strongly controlled by culture.

Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: This research could be a model for formulating a cross-cultural mission strategy that unites missiology with biblical and cultural anthropology.


Puang Matua Bible; Aluk Todolo; Toraja people; missiology; cross-cultural.

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 3: Good health and well-being


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