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dc.contributor.advisorBrooking, Tom
dc.contributor.advisorStenhouse, John
dc.contributor.authorPhillipson, Grant A.
dc.identifier.citationPhillipson, G. A. (1992). ‘The thirteenth apostle’ : Bishop Selwyn and the transplantation of Anglicanism to New Zealand, 1841-1868 (Thesis, Doctor of Philosophy). Retrieved from
dc.description.abstractThe process of transplanting metropolitan institutions to colonial societies has not been adequately studied by New Zealand historians. As a result, the transplanted Churches have been depicted as conservative imitations of their Mother Churches, unwilling and unable to adapt to their new environment. This view must be modified by contextualising the Churches, in terms of the real complexity of their metropolitan models, and the flexibility of their responses to the colonial environment. In this thesis I argue that the first 'Missionary Bishop', G.A. Selwyn, was the key selector in a process of controlled borrowing, in which the Church of England sought to adapt its metropolitan heritage to the exigencies of colonial society. He brought the perspective and policies of the conservative reform movement to New Zealand, and tried to create its ideal model of the Church in the 'freer air' of the colonies. He soon discovered that the colony was not the tabula rasa which he had expected, but his reforming background gave him the flexibility to adapt his metropolitan model within the parameters of his new environment. On the simplest level of transplantation, this enabled him to recreate the English parish of church, school, and clergyman, in a manner tailored to the class structure, financial situation, and population density of both the towns and the dispersed frontiers. On a more fundamental level, the exigencies of voluntarism and colonial ecumenism encouraged Selwyn to remodel the entire structure of the Church as a dissenter-style voluntary society. He created a 'club identity', at the central level through synodical government, and at the local level through committee government and the nucleus of a future 'empire' of organised activities designed to maximise voluntary participation and loyalty to the denomination as an organisation. How did this affect the wider society? The traditional view of the unadaptable Churches has dismissed them as powerless in society and politics. In fact, Selwyn's success in balancing 'Home' and environment enabled his Church to perform vital social functions on the colonial frontier, by helping to regularise single-male anarchy into respectable small-town family life. In the political sphere, historians have created a myth of the missionaries as unadaptable and assimilationist in their views, bent on the wholesale destruction of Maori culture and social structure. Selwyn and his key supporters, however, adapted their idea of 'amalgamation' to incorporate devolution and limited bi-culturalism. They also proved to be a much more formidable force in Maori politics than most historians have allowed. The time has come to dispense with the stereotype of the Church of England as slavishly imitative, inflexible, unadaptable, and fundamentally unsuccessful, in colonial New Zealand.en_NZ
dc.publisherUniversity of Otago
dc.title"The thirteenth apostle" : Bishop Selwyn and the transplantation of Anglicanism to New Zealand, 1841-1868en_NZ
dc.typeThesisen_NZ of Philosophyen_NZ of Otagoen_NZ
otago.openaccessAbstract Only
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