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    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.

    About this paper

    Paper title New Zealand Society and Religion
    Subject History
    EFTS 0.15
    Points 18 points
    Teaching period Not offered in 2024 (On campus)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $981.75
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    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


    Not offered in 2024

    Teaching method
    This paper is taught On Campus
    Learning management system
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