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HIST308 New Zealand Society and Religion

The professed and actual religions of New Zealanders and their social impact.

This paper surveys the religious and secular history of New Zealand from the pre-European Máori world to the rise of Destiny Church during the 1990s. Themes include Máori 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 0.1500
Points 18 points
Teaching period First Semester
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $886.35
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $3,766.35

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18 200-level HIST, ARTH or ARTV points
Schedule C
Arts and Music
Students who have not passed the normal prerequisite may be admitted with approval from the Head of Department.
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Interdisciplinary perspective, Communication, Critical thinking.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes

Students 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.
Teaching staff
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.

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First Semester

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Tuesday 14:00-14:50 9-16, 18-22
Thursday 14:00-14:50 9-16, 18-22


Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend one stream from
A1 Thursday 15:00-15:50 11, 13, 16, 18, 20
A2 Thursday 16:00-16:50 11, 13, 16, 18, 20
A3 Tuesday 15:00-15:50 11, 13, 16, 18, 20