"Church state relations in New Zealand 1940-1990, with particular reference to the Presbyterian and Methodist churches"
Evans, John Adsett
In the period between 1940 and 1990 church state relations in New Zealand underwent an extensive change. In 1940 New Zealand purported to be a Christian nation, while by 1990 New Zealand was said to be secular and pluralistic. Also in 1940 church and state were separate. No state aid was given for church schools and little other direct state assistance was provided to the church. By 1990 an "integrated" education system operated in which church schools received state funding and the state also provided considerable support for Christian social service work. This thesis examines these and other changes, and describes the forces and factors that contributed to the change. It concludes with an analysis of New Zealand church state relations in 1990. In examining the period 1940-1990, two aspects of church state relations are considered: firstly, the church's position with the state as an institution within the community which provides educational and welfare services; and secondly, the church's concern for Christian moral or ethical principles, involving such matters as sexual morality and broader justice questions. These two aspects of church state relations are in turn examined in three periods: 1940-1960, which is regarded as benchmark for the study; the 1960's, a decade of new emphases and considerable change; and finally 1970-1990. In examining the relationship within in each of these periods, developments in the law, theology, Christian social ethics, society, political movements and government administration are considered. By 1990 New Zealand church state relations are seen to be complex and not capable of any easy categorisation. No one factor has alone determined this new pattern of engagement since 1940. Five themes are however, suggested as being relevant: the changing importance of denominational and sectarian rivalry; the growing cleavage between conservative and liberal Christianity over the nature and issues of political involvement; the changing nature of New Zealand state-sector policy and New Zealand's own economic prosperity; the process of secularisation as it has affected the role of religion in legitimating state action; and the increasing recognition by the state of cultural diversity and the plurality of views, or as it is called here, the process of pluralism. By 1990, these factors placed the church in a different position with the state, but not necessarily one of a reduced role or influence.
Advisor: Matheson, Peter
Degree Name: Doctor of Philosophy
Degree Discipline: Theology
Publisher: University of Otago
Research Type: Thesis
xv, 179,  leaves :ill. ; 30 cm. Includes bibliographical references. University of Otago department: Theology