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New Zealand Jesus

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What did early twentieth century New Zealanders make of Jesus, and what do their understandings tell us? This study provides the first historical analysis of New Zealand images of Jesus. Using a diverse range of churchly and secular sources it examines key themes and representations. These images provide insights into the character of New Zealand religion and its place in the nation's history and culture - from dimensions of childhood and gender through to debates about social reform. They also highlight broader dynamics of social and religious change. Crucially, this work traces the rise of a new kind of Jesus-centred religiosity that reflected wider cultural shifts. The form was particularly evident among Protestant Christians, who embraced Jesus in their efforts to modernise Christianity and extend its influence within the community. The author shows that this development was a response to change that profoundly reoriented Protestant Christianity.
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Table of Contents

Contents: Jesus - History and religion in New Zealand - Culture of personality - Patterns in doctrine - Devotion - Literature and art - Anti-Church criticism - Social campaigning and social Christianity - Children and childhood - Masculinity and gender.

About the Author

Geoffrey Troughton is a lecturer in Religious Studies at Victoria University of Wellington. His research and teaching focuses on religious and social history in New Zealand, interactions of religion and politics, and modern Christianity. He is the editor, with Hugh Morrison, of The Spirit of the Past: Essays on Christianity in New Zealand History (2011).


"`New Zealand Jesus' (...) is scholarly, very interesting, historically sensitive, refreshingly inter-disciplinary and open-minded. And yes, it's ground breaking and fills a gap in the literature." (Bill Cooke, Sea of Faith Network 98, 2012)

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