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CHTH217 Special Topic: Māori Religion and Theology

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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
Paper code CHTH217
Subject Christian Thought and History
EFTS 0.15
Points 18 points
Teaching period Semester 2 (27 June 2022 - 12 November 2022) (Distance learning)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $929.55
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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36 100-level points
Schedule C
Arts and Music, Theology
May not be credited together with CHTH317 passed in 2019 or 2020.

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.


Professor Murray Rae:

Teaching staff

Course Coordinator: Professor Murray Rae

Lecturers: Revd Wayne Te Kaawa, Professor Murray Rae

Paper Structure

This is a one week intensive course held at the Ohope Marae from Monday 27 June to Friday 1 July inclusive. There will be no additional costs to students for staying at the marae, but students will be expected to fund their own travel to/from 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%)


Teaching Arrangements

The teaching programme for the paper is through a five-day residential intensive at Ōhope marae, near Whakatāne in the Bay of Plenty. Students will be accommodated in the wharenui and classes will be held in the wharekai (dining room) with reflection sessions also taking place in the wharenui. Wifi is also available at the marae. 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.


Textbooks are not required for this paper

Course outline

View the course outline for CHTH217

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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Semester 2 (27 June 2022 - 12 November 2022)

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

Block Teaching

Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Monday 12:00-19:50 26
Tuesday 09:00-19:50 26
Wednesday 09:00-19:50 26
Thursday 09:00-19:50 26
Friday 09:00-12:50 26