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Professor Paul Trebilco

Paul Trebilco image 2021

Professor
BSc (Canterbury), Bachelor of Divinity (Otago), PhD (University of Durham), FRSNZ

Course adviser for postgraduate students
Room 4S2, Arts Building
Tel +64 3 479 8798
Email paul.trebilco@otago.ac.nz

Paul Trebilco is Professor of New Testament. He studied Chemistry at the University of Canterbury, and then did a Bachelor of Divinity at Otago before completing his PhD in the New Testament in 1987 at the University of Durham.

He has published work on the Jewish and Greco-Roman backgrounds to the New Testament, the Acts of the Apostles, the apostle Paul, early Christians in Ephesus, the relationship of Scripture and Church tradition, and the Self-designations used by the earliest Christians in the New Testament.

From 2013–2017, he was the General Editor of the Society for New Testament Studies Monograph Series, published by Cambridge University Press.  In 2017, Paul was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand. See further information here: https://royalsociety.org.nz/news/2017-new-fellows/

Teaching

  • BIBS121 Interpreting the New Testament
  • BIBS226 Jesus in the New Testament
  • BIBS326 Jesus in the New Testament (Advanced)
  • BIBS322 The New Testament Epistles
  • BIBS423 The New Testament Epistles (Advanced)

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Preferred areas of supervision

  • The Historical Jesus
  • The Johannine Literature (John's Gospel, 1-3 John and Revelation)
  • Acts of the Apostles
  • Pauline Theology
  • The Pastoral Epistles
  • Unity and Diversity in the New Testament

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Main research interests

  • The Early Christians in Ephesus
  • The Pastoral Epistles
  • The Johannine Literature
  • Diaspora Judaism

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Current research

  • The issue of self-designation in earliest Christianity. What terms would an early Christian use to address a gathering? We might think they would use the term "Christian", but since this is found only three times in the New Testament, it is unlikely that this is the term they would have used
  • On-going work on the early Christians in Ephesus
  • The development of early Christian communities in Asia Minor into the second century
  • The Pastoral Epistles
  • The sense of the "local" and the "global", as lens through which we can view the New Testament and earliest Christianity

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Current postgraduate students

  • Jessica Bent (PhD) “The Theological Understanding and Use of Familial Language in New Zealand Baptist Churches”
  • Jordan Chapman (PhD) “The Settings and Purposes of 1 Peter and Revelation”
  • W.H. Chong (PhD) “Spaces Matter: Learning from the Text Delimitations of Early NT MSS containing Ephesians and 1 Peter”
  • Fenika Faalave (PhD) “Examining Luke’s Characterisation of the Human Characters in the Dream-Visions in Acts”
  • Aaron Geddis (PhD) “Jesus’ Temple action in the Gospel of Matthew: The climax of Malachi’s return of Elijah motif”
  • Malcolm Gordon (PhD) “Power and Protest: Exploring the link between the practice of lament and the position of powerlessness in 19th century Scotland and New Zealand”
  • Clare Knowles  (PhD) “Intratextuality as translation strategy and literary device”
  • Elliot Luo (PhD) “The Dualistic Eschatology in the Epistles of John and Its Impact to the Johannine Community”
  • Mathew Newton (PhD) “Improvising Abraham: Paul’s use of the Abraham narratives in Galatians”
  • Ben Ong (PhD) “Partner-centred Interpretation in Aotearoa New Zealand: A Hermeneutic for Paakehaa in Partnership with Māori”
  • Jonathan Seiuli (PhD) “Submission to the Governing Authorities: Re-examining Authority from God in Romans 13: 1–7”
  • Chanki Shin (PhD) “A Study of Paul’s Anomalous Fatherhood in 1 Corinthians 4.14–21 in Light of the Sociopolitical Context of Greco-Roman and Jewish Fatherhood During the Second Temple Period”
  • Emma Stokes (PhD) “Reconsidering the Samaritans as a character in the Lukan travel narrative”
  • Herry Susanto (PhD) “Pauline Cosmological Redemption as the Basis for Eco-Theology”

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Recent postgraduate students

  • Carmen Anderson (MTh) “Ἀμήν I Say to You”: Faith, Understanding and Speaking the Truth in Matthew’s Gospel”
  • Doug Anderson (PhD) “The Origin and Purpose of Matthew 27:51b-53”
  • Tualagi Ah-Yek (MTh) “The metaphor of shepherding in John 10:1-18 and 1 Peter 5:1-7 and its significance for Samoan Ministry”
  • David Balchin (MTh) “To Understand the Righteousness of God in Romans is to Understand how the Gospel is the Power of God for the Salvation of those who believe”
  • Erin Bay (PhD) “The Social Significance of the Sacralized Body in The Epistle to the Romans: Pauline Subversion of Cultural Constructions of Human Worth”
  • Deborah Bower (PhD) “Isaiah, the Gospel of Luke, and Peter in Conversation with Cornelius. A Narrative-Critical Analysis of Acts 10:1-11:18”
  • Nick Brennan (PhD) “Leading Many Sons to Glory’: Human Destiny and the Identity of Christ in the Epistle to the Hebrews”
  • Chris Caradus (PhD) “Beyond a Sonderweg for Israel: An Exploration of Persistence of Exile Themes in relation to Romans 11.26”
  • Tim Dack (MTh) “Grace Redefined in 1 Corinthians 12:9a”
  • Matt Easter (PhD) “Let Us Go to Him”: The Story of Faith and the Faithfulness of Jesus in Hebrews”
  • Gerard Ellis (PhD) “Grammar as Theology: A Linguistic Rereading of Philippians 2:6-7a”
  • Mark Forman (PhD) “The Politics of Inheritance? The Language of Inheritance in Romans within its First-Century Greco-Roman Imperial Context”
  • Patrik Frank (PhD), “Blessed is he who keeps the words of prophecy in this book": an intra-textual reading of the Apocalypse as Parenesis”
  • Aaron Geddis (MTh) “The concept of the Return of Elijah in Matthew 11:2-24 and it's Christological Implications”
  • Sarah Harris (PhD) “The Davidic Shepherd King in the Lukan Narrative”
  • Erin Heim (PhD) “Light Through a Prism: New Avenues of Inquiry for the Pauline Ui`oqesi,a Metaphors”
  • Anna Hluan (PhD) “Silence in translation : Interpreting 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 in Myanmar"
  • Dale Hokin (MTh) “Is Motivation of Reward and Punishment Faithful to the Teachings of Jesus in the Gospel of Mark?”
  • Luke Hoselton (PhD) "New Creation in Colossians: A Comparative, Exegetical, and Theological Analysis"
  • Ben Hudson (PhD) “Co-partakers of the promise: Israel and the Gentiles in Ephesians”
  • Tom Innes (PhD) “Into the Deep Water, to the Other Side: Discipleship in Luke’s Lake Stories”
  • Bradley Kelderman (MTh) “Paul’s Use of the Remnant Concept in Romans 9-11 and its Interpretative Implications for Romans 11:26”
  • Jacqui Lloyd (PhD) “Archaeology and the Itinerant Jesus: a historical inquiry into the Extent of Jesus’ itinerancy in the north”
  • Jonathon Lookadoo (PhD) “The High Priest and the Temple: Metaphorical Depictions of Jesus in the Letters of Ignatius of Antioch"
  • Alan Missen (MTh) “Worship and witness in the Apocalypse”
  • George Mombi (PhD) “Exploring the Meaning and Significance of the concept of “in Christ” in Colossians as a response to Melanesian concept of ‘Gutpela Sindaun’, with special reference to the concepts of Fullness, Riches, Mystery and Hiddenness”
  • Phillip Porter (PhD) "The Possibilities of the Gospel Narratives for Parable Interpretation!"
  • Jonathon Robinson (PhD) “An Intertextual Assessment of Christology in the Markan Miracles”
  • Tony Siew (PhD) “The War Between the Two Beasts and the Two Witnesses: A Chiastic Reading of Rev 11:1-14:5”
  • Dillon Thornton (PhD) “Hostility in the House of God: An “Interested” Investigation of the Opponents in 1 and 2 Timothy
  • Sean du Toit (PhD) “1 Peter: Negotiating Life within the Greco-Roman World”
  • Gillian Townsley (PhD) “The Straight Mind in Corinth: Queer Readings Across 1 Cor 11.2-16”
  • Julia van den Brink (PhD) “Blessings and Woes in Luke: Intertextual Echoes of Antithetical Covenant Blessings and Curses in Luke’s Gospel with Particular Reference to 6:20b-26”
  • Deolito Vistar (PhD) “The Supreme Σημεῖον of Jesus’ Death-and-Resurrection in the Fourth Gospel"
  • Kevin Waldie (PhD) “Compassion, Jesus and Luke: Words and Deeds in a Redaction-Compositional Study of Luke 6:12-8:3”
  • Blake Wassell (PhD) “Pilate and the Jews in the Gospel of John: A Study in Historiography, Kingship, and Friendship”
  • Rick Weymouth (PhD) “The Christ-Story of Philippians 2:6-11: Narrative Shape and Paraenetic Purpose in Paul's Letter to Philippi”
  • Max Whitaker (PhD) “Is Jesus Athene or Odysseus? Investigating the unrecognisability and metamorphosis of Jesus in his post-resurrection appearances”
  • Martin Williams (PhD) “The Doctrine of Salvation in the First Letter of Peter: A Theological-Critical Study”

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Publications

Trebilco, P. R. (2021). Beyond "the parting of the ways" between Jews and Christians in Asia Minor to a model of variegated interaction. In J. Schröter, B. A. Edsall & J. Verheyden (Eds.), Jews and Christians: Parting ways in the first two centuries CE?: Reflections on the gains and losses of a model. (pp. 273-306). De Gruyter. doi: 10.1515/9783110742213-011

Trebilco, P. (2020). Greece and the Aegean. In D. M. Gurtner & L. T. Stuckenbruck (Eds.), T&T Clark encyclopedia of Second Temple Judaism (Vol. 2). (pp. 303-305). London, UK: T&T Clark. [Encyclopaedia/Dictionary Entry].

Trebilco, P. (2020). John's apocalypse in relation to Johannine, Pauline, and other forms of Christianity in Asia Minor. In C. R. Koester (Ed.), The Oxford handbook of the book of Revelation. (pp. 185-201). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Trebilco, P. (2020). "Saints by calling" in Romans 1:7 and 1 Corinthians 1:2. In J. de Jong & C. Saysell (Eds.), Holding forth the word of life: Essays in honor of Tim Meadowcroft. (pp. 84-97). Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock.

Trebilco, P. (2020, November-December). Ignatius and the Christians in Smyrna. Verbal presentation at the Joint Conference of the Aotearoa New Zealand Association of Biblical Studies (ANZABS) & the Systematic Theology Association of Aotearoa New Zealand (STAANZ), Christchurch, New Zealand.

Trebilco, P. R. (2017). Outsider designations and boundary construction in the New Testament: Early Christian communities and the formation of group identity. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 358p. doi: 10.1017/9781108291460

Authored Book - Research

Trebilco, P. (2012). Self-designations and group identity in the New Testament. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 375p.

Authored Book - Research

Trebilco, P., Caradus, C., & Rae, S. (2009). Asia Bible Commentary Series. 2 Timothy and Titus. Manila, Philippines: Asia Theological Association, 222p.

Authored Book - Research

Trebilco, P., & Rae, S. (2006). 1 Timothy. Singapore: Asia Theological Association, 199p.

Authored Book - Research

Trebilco, P. (2004). The early Christians in Ephesus from Paul to Ignatius. Germany: Mohr Siebeck, 842p.

Authored Book - Research

Trebilco, P. R. (1995). Considering Orthodoxy: Foundations for Faith Today. Orewa: Colcom Press, 186p.

Authored Book - Research

Trebilco, P. R. (1991). Jewish communities in Asia Minor. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 330p.

Authored Book - Research

Walton, S., Trebilco, P. R., & Gill, D. W. (Eds.). (2017). The urban world and the first Christians. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 388p.

Edited Book - Research

Morris, P., Shepard, W., Trebilco, P., & Tidswell, T. (Eds.). (2014). The teaching and study of Islam in western universities. Abingdon, UK: Routledge, 198p.

Edited Book - Research

Trebilco, P. R. (2021). Beyond "the parting of the ways" between Jews and Christians in Asia Minor to a model of variegated interaction. In J. Schröter, B. A. Edsall & J. Verheyden (Eds.), Jews and Christians: Parting ways in the first two centuries CE?: Reflections on the gains and losses of a model. (pp. 273-306). De Gruyter. doi: 10.1515/9783110742213-011

Chapter in Book - Research

Trebilco, P. (2020). "Saints by calling" in Romans 1:7 and 1 Corinthians 1:2. In J. de Jong & C. Saysell (Eds.), Holding forth the word of life: Essays in honor of Tim Meadowcroft. (pp. 84-97). Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock.

Chapter in Book - Research

Trebilco, P. (2020). Greece and the Aegean. In D. M. Gurtner & L. T. Stuckenbruck (Eds.), T&T Clark encyclopedia of Second Temple Judaism (Vol. 2). (pp. 303-305). London, UK: T&T Clark. [Encyclopaedia/Dictionary Entry].

Chapter in Book - Research

Trebilco, P. (2020). John's apocalypse in relation to Johannine, Pauline, and other forms of Christianity in Asia Minor. In C. R. Koester (Ed.), The Oxford handbook of the book of Revelation. (pp. 185-201). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Chapter in Book - Research

Trebilco, P. (2019). Salvation and gift in 1 John: Unconditioned, but not unconditional. In D. S. du Toit, C. Gerber & C. Zimmermann (Eds.), Sōtēria: Salvation in early Christianity and antiquity: Festschrift in honour of Cilliers Breytenbach on the occasion of this 65th birthday. (pp. 498-516). Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill.

Chapter in Book - Research

Trebilco, P. (2018). "From the beginning" in the ancient city of Ephesus and in the letters of John. In J. W. Hofmeyr & J. Stenhouse (Eds.), Internationalising higher education: From South Africa to England via New Zealand : Essays in honour of Professor Gerald Pillay. (pp. 59-82). Centurion, South Africa: Mediakor.

Chapter in Book - Research

Trebilco, P. (2018). The Acts of John and Christian communities in Ephesus in the mid-second century AD. In C. Breytenbach & J. M. Ogereau (Eds.), Authority and identity in emerging Christianities communities in Asia Minor and Greece. (pp. 33-61). Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill. doi: 10.1163/9789004367197_003

Chapter in Book - Research

Trebilco, P. (2018). The Jewish community in Ephesus and its interaction with Christ-believers in the first century CE and beyond. In J. R. Harrison & L. L. Welborn (Eds.), The first urban churches 3: Ephesus. (pp. 93-126). Atlanta, GA: SBL Press.

Chapter in Book - Research

Trebilco, P. R. (2017). Engaging—or not engaging—the city: Reading 1 and 2 Timothy and the Johannine letters in the city of Ephesus. In S. Walton, P. R. Trebilco & D. W. Gill (Eds.), The urban world and the first Christians. (pp. 160-186). Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans.

Chapter in Book - Research

Walton, S., Trebilco, P. R., & Gill, D. W. (2017). Cities as more than "scenery". In S. Walton, P. R. Trebilco & D. W. Gill (Eds.), The urban world and the first Christians. (pp. xii-xv). Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans.

Chapter in Book - Research

Walton, S., Trebilco, P. R., & Gill, D. W. (2017). Research on urban Christian communities: Looking ahead. In S. Walton, P. R. Trebilco & D. W. Gill (Eds.), The urban world and the first Christians. (pp. 320-324). Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans.

Chapter in Book - Research

Trebilco, P. (2015). Early Jewish communities in Asia Minor and the early Christian movement. In M. Tiwald (Ed.), Q in context II: Social setting and archaeological background of the Sayings Source. (pp. 213-231). Göttingen, Germany: V&R unipress.

Chapter in Book - Research

Trebilco, P. (2015). Epigraphy and the study of the Polis and the Ekklēsia in the Greco-Roman world. In J. R. Harrison & L. L. Welborn (Eds.), The first urban churches 1: Methodological foundations. (pp. 89-109). Atlanta, GA: SBL Press.

Chapter in Book - Research

Morris, P., Shepard, W., Tidswell, T., & Trebilco, P. (2014). Introduction: Setting the scene. In P. Morris, W. Shepard, P. Trebilco & T. Tidswell (Eds.), The teaching and study of Islam in western universities. (pp. 1-8). Abingdon, UK: Routledge.

Chapter in Book - Research

Trebilco, P. (2014). The Holy Spirit in 1 John. In J. T. K. Lim (Ed.), Holy Spirit: Unfinished agenda. (pp. 71-74). Singapore: Genesis Books & Word N Works.

Chapter in Book - Research

Trebilco, P. (2013). 1 Timothy 3.16 as a proto-rule of faith. In J. B. Green & T. Meadowcroft (Eds.), Ears that hear: Explorations in theological interpretation of the Bible. (pp. 170-190). Sheffield, UK: Sheffield Phoenix Press.

Chapter in Book - Research

Trebilco, P. (2013). Studying "fractionation' in earliest Christianity in Rome and Ephesus. In C. Breytenbach & J. Frey (Eds.), Reflections on the early Christian history of religion [Erwägungen zur frühchristlichen Religionsgeschichte]. (pp. 293-333). Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill.

Chapter in Book - Research

Trebilco, P. (2013). The province and cities of Asia. In J. B. Green & L. M. McDonald (Eds.), The world of the New Testament: Cultural, social and historical contexts. (pp. 501-521). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic.

Chapter in Book - Research

Trebilco, P. (2013). The social setting of the Epistle to the Romans. In K. K. Yeo (Ed.), From Rome to Beijing: Symposia on Roger Jewett's commentary on Romans. (pp. 299-309). Lincoln, NE: Kairos Studies.

Chapter in Book - Research

Trebilco, P. (2011). Christians in the Lycus Valley: The view from Ephesus and from Western Asia Minor. In A. H. Cadwallader & M. Trainor (Eds.), Colossae in space and time: Linking to an ancient city. (pp. 180-211). Göttingen, Germany: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht.

Chapter in Book - Research

Trebilco, P. (2010). Antioch (Pisidian). In J. J. Collins & D. C. Harlow (Eds.), The Eerdmans dictionary of early Judaism. (pp. 334-336). Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans.

Chapter in Book - Research

Trebilco, P. (2010). Asia Minor. In J. J. Collins & D. C. Harlow (Eds.), The Eerdmans dictionary of early Judaism. (pp. 392-396). Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans.

Chapter in Book - Research

Trebilco, P. (2010). Jesus Christ: Creator and redeemer (Colossians 1:15-20): An exposition. In B. Nicolls, T. R. Lua & J. Belding (Eds.), The Church in a changing world: An Asian response: Challenges from the Malang Consultation on globalization. (pp. 39-48). Quezon City, Philippines: Asia Theological Association.

Chapter in Book - Research

Trebilco, P. (2010). Jesus Christ: Our servant Lord (Philippians 2:6-11): An exposition. In B. Nicolls, T. R. Lua & J. Belding (Eds.), The Church in a changing world: An Asian response: Challenges from the Malang Consultation on globalization. (pp. 49-59). Quezon City, Philippines: Asia Theological Association.

Chapter in Book - Research

Trebilco, P. (2009). Asia Minor and the Bible. In H.-J. Klauk, B. McGinn, P. Mendes-Flohr, C.-L. Seow, H. Spieckermann & B. D. Walfish (Eds.), Encyclopedia of the Bible and its reception: Anim-Atheism. (pp. 1034-1037). Berlin, Germany: Walter de Gruyter.

Chapter in Book - Research

Trebilco, P. (2008). Diaspora. In C. A. Evans (Ed.), Encyclopedia of the historical Jesus. (pp. 156-157). New York: Routledge.

Chapter in Book - Research

Trebilco, P. (2006). Asia. In K. D. Sakenfeld (Ed.), The new interpreter's dictionary of the Bible: A-C (Vol. 1). (pp. 303-304). Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press.

Chapter in Book - Research

Trebilco, P. (2006). The Jews in Asia Minor: 66-c. 235 CE. In S. T. Katz (Ed.), The Cambridge history of Judaism: Volume IV: The late Roman-Rabbinic period. (pp. 75-82). UK: Cambridge University Press.

Chapter in Book - Research

Trebilco, P. (2004). The Christian and Jewish Eumeneian formula. In J. M. G. Barclay (Ed.), Negotiating diaspora: Jewish strategies in the Roman Empire. (pp. 66-88). London: T & T Clark International.

Chapter in Book - Research

Trebilco, P. (2004). The significance and relevance of the Spirit in the pastoral epistles. In G. N. Stanton, B. W. Longenecker & S. C. Barton (Eds.), The Holy Spirit and Christian origins. (pp. 241-256). Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.

Chapter in Book - Research

Trebilco, P. (2001). Timorati di Dio. In A. Lewin (Ed.), Gli Ebrei Nell'impero Romano. (pp. 161-193). Florence: Editrice La Giuntina.

Chapter in Book - Research

Trebilco, P. (2000). Jewish communities in Asia Minor. In C. A. Evans & S. E. Porter (Eds.), Dictionary of New Testament Background. (pp. 562-569). Downers Grove, Illinois: Inter-Varsity Press.

Chapter in Book - Research

Trebilco, P. (2000). The goodness and holiness of the earth and the whole creation (1 Tim. 4:1-5). In N. Habel (Ed.), Readings from the Perspective of Earth. The Earth Bible. Vol.1. (pp. 204-220). Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press.

Chapter in Book - Research

Trebilco, P. (1997). Dam(blood). In W. A. VanGemeren (Ed.), New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology & Exegesis. (pp. 963-966). Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan Pub. House.

Chapter in Book - Research

Trebilco, P. (1997). Diaspora Judaism. In R. P. Martin & P. H. Davids (Eds.), Dictionary of the Later New Testament and its Developments. (pp. 287-300). Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press.

Chapter in Book - Research

Trebilco, P. (1997). Jewish backgrounds of the New Testament. In S. E. Porter (Ed.), Handbook to Exegesis of the New Testament (New Testament Tools and Studies, vol 25). (pp. 359-388). Leiden: Brill.

Chapter in Book - Research

Trebilco, P. (1997). Ozen(ear). In W. A. VanGemeren (Ed.), New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology& Exegesis. (pp. 341-343). Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan Pub. House.

Chapter in Book - Research

Trebilco, P. (1996). Animals. In W. A. Elwell (Ed.), Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology. (pp. 24-26). Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books.

Chapter in Book - Research

Trebilco, P. (1996). Proselyte. In I. H. Marshall, J. I. Packer & D. J. Wiseman (Eds.), The New Bible Dictionary. 3rd edn. (pp. 1769-1771). Leicester: Inter Varsity Press.

Chapter in Book - Research

Trebilco, P. (1995). Orthodoxy, scripture and tradition. In P. R. Trebilco (Ed.), Considering Orthodoxy: Foundations for Faith Today. (pp. 97-123). Orewa: Colcom Press.

Chapter in Book - Research

Trebilco, P. (1994). Acts 17: A window on Paul's methods of evangelism. In B. Hamill & M. Rae (Eds.), Theological fragments: Essays in honour of Alan Torrance. (pp. 26-36). Dunedin, New Zealand: Lada Publications.

Chapter in Book - Research

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