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HIST308 New Zealand Society and Religion

The religions of New Zealanders and their social, cultural and political impact.

This paper surveys the religious and secular history of New Zealand from the pre-European Māori world to the rise of Destiny Church during the 1990s. Themes include Māori prophets and religious movements; race, class and gender; war and peace; science and religion; freethinkers, atheists and agnostics; secularisation since the 1960s. The aim of the paper is to understand how and why New Zealand society shaped and was shaped by the religious and secular beliefs and practices of its inhabitants.

Paper title New Zealand Society and Religion
Paper code HIST308
Subject History
EFTS 0.15
Points 18 points
Teaching period Not offered in 2023 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $955.05
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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36 200-level points
HIST 244
Schedule C
Arts and Music
Students who have not passed the normal prerequisite may be admitted with approval from the Head of Department.

Associate Professor John Stenhouse -

Teaching staff

Lecturer and Coordinator: Associate Professor John Stenhouse



Allan K. Davidson, Christianity in Aotearoa: a history of church and society in New Zealand, 3rd edition, (Wellington, 2004).

Allan K. Davidson and Peter Lineham, eds, Transplanted Christianity: Documents illustrating aspects of New Zealand church history, 3rd edition (Palmerston North, 1995).

In addition, course materials will be made available electronically.

Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Interdisciplinary perspective, Communication, Critical thinking.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete this paper will:

  • Gain an understanding of how and why the inhabitants of New Zealand have changed and adapted their religious beliefs and behaviours from the early 19th century to today
  • Learn to engage with lively debates in the international secondary literature and to assess differing historical interpretations from critical interdisciplinary perspectives

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Not offered in 2023

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system