How the imprint of the church dominates New Zealand society even in this secular age
The early arrival of the missionaries in Aotearoa set the scene for a new ‘moral colony’ that would be founded on religious precepts and modern Christian beliefs. It did not take long for a combination of circumstances to confound the aspirations of the Church Missionary Society, the Church in Rome and all those who followed.
Historian Peter Lineham examines Christianity in New Zealand through the lens of cultural development, and asks: If the various denominations and faiths set out to shape New Zealand, how did the very fluid fact of New Zealand change those faiths? From the Presbyterian south to the enclaves of Catholicism, who shaped whom? And what is the legacy of that influence? Why do we have afternoon tea? And what were debutante balls? Religion had a hand in the societal habits and milestones we all take for granted.