Course Description

Course Name

New Zealand Society and Religion

Session: VDNS3121

Hours & Credits

18 Credit Points

Prerequisites & Language Level

Taught In English

  • There is no language prerequisite for courses at this language level.


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

This paper surveys the religious history of New Zealand from the pre-European M?ori world to the rise of Destiny Church during the 1990s. Themes include M?ori 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.

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 the more secular society of today
-Learn to engage with lively debates in the international secondary literature and to assess differing historical interpretations from critical interdisciplinary perspectives


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.

*Course content subject to change