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CHTH317 Special Topic: Māori Religion and Theology (Advanced)

2021 information for papers will be published in early September. 

An investigation of the Māori religious worldview and Māori engagement with Christianity.

This paper explores Māori theology and religion from the period prior to colonisation and through Māori encounters with and adaptations of Christianity.

Paper title Special Topic: Māori Religion and Theology (Advanced)
Paper code CHTH317
Subject Christian Thought and History
EFTS 0.1500
Points 18 points
Teaching period Second Semester
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $904.05
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $3,954.75

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18 200-level points
Schedule C
Arts and Music, Theology
May not be credited together with CHTH 217 passed in 2019.

Any student can study Theology, whether they are of the Christian faith, another faith or of no religious faith at all. Theology is an exploration of what can be said about God and of the basis upon which we can say it. It requires an inquiring mind, respect for the views of others and an interest in the big questions of human existence.


Teaching staff

Revd Wayne Te Kaawa, Professor Murray Rae

Paper Structure
p>Teaching for the first half of semester two will take place through weekly videconferences. If conditions allow, the course will conclude with a three-day residential at Ohope marae in the Bay of Plenty from August 25-27. If that is not possible under Covid-19 restrictions, the course will continue with weekly videoconferences through the remainder of semester 2. There will be no additional costs to students for staying at the marae, but students will be expected to fund their own travel to the marae.

  1. Module One: Mātauranga Māori
  2. Module Two: The Missionary Era
  3. Module Three: Māori Prophets and Indigenous Churches
  4. Module Four: Blended Wisdom. Theological themes and trends.

Short Essay (30%)
Major Research Essay (50%)
Journal (20%)


Textbooks are not required for this course. A Study Guide and links to essential readings will be provided through Blackboard, the University’s preferred online learning platform.

Course outline

View the latest course outline here

Graduate Attributes Emphasised

Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong learning, Information literacy, Environmental literacy, Communication, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.

Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete this paper will:

  1. Show familiarity with traditional Māori religious thought and practice.
  2. Understand the historical threads of engagement between Māori and Christian missionaries and develop the capacity to critically analyse the impact and consequences of that engagement.
  3. Be able to offer an informed account of selected Māori adaptations of Christianity, particularly those associated with the Māori prophets.
  4. Develop understanding of the distinct insight and enrichment of Christian theology brought about through the influence of mātuaranga and kaupapa Māori.
  5. Develop the capacity to recognise and articulate the ways in which engagement with Māori theology and religion facilitates a constructive critique of the Western theological tradition.

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Second Semester

Teaching method
This paper is taught through Distance Learning
Learning management system

Other Teaching

Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Wednesday 16:00-16:50 28-34, 36-41