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HIST244 New Zealand Society and Religion

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, a selection of on-campus papers will be made available via distance and online learning for eligible students.
Find out which papers are available and how to apply on our COVID-19 website

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 HIST244
Subject History
EFTS 0.15
Points 18 points
Teaching period Semester 2 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $929.55
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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One 100-level HIST paper or 54 points
HIST 308
Schedule C
Arts and Music

Associate Professor John Stenhouse -

Teaching staff

Lecturer and Co-ordinator: 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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Semester 2

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


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


Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend one stream from
A1 Tuesday 14:00-14:50 31-33, 37-38
A2 Thursday 15:00-15:50 31-33, 37-38
A3 Friday 13:00-13:50 31-33, 37-38