Spiritual Journeying with ‘A New Zealand Prayer Book: He Karakia Mihinare o Aotearoa’: Perspectives from Three Tikanga.
Gerritsen, Max Anthony
This thesis begins by exploring the varied spiritual backgrounds and current practices of people of the three Tikanga Anglican Church within the Province of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia. It focuses on the New Zealand Prayer Book (1989), looking back to what I call two crucible moments in the Anglican Church’s history. The first resulted in the development of the Book of Common Prayer (1662 & 1928 – and variations) and the second produced the current prayer book being used in this Province. Interviewees from across the three Tikanga, lay and ordained and of varying age groupings, were asked to reflect on the ways the Prayer Book is helpful for mission and ministry in their contexts and in what ways it is not. I then asked whether this is another crucible moment in the life of twenty first century Anglicans in terms of the Prayer Book. If so, what are the implications for the Prayer Book’s collection of resources that fall under canonical law in terms of when, where and how they may be used and by whom. Put simply I asked, has it seen its day? Exploration of new, but ancient, practices such as new monasticism and pilgrimage were included for these seem to be filling the book shelves and conversations of many who are asking how we need to be church in this liminal space. The rich diversity of spiritual expression is applauded as each Tikanga aims to contextualise their spirituality in these times, some more successfully than others. It needs to be noted that the place of something like new monasticism is probably more an issue for the more fragmented societies of Pakeha than the more communally-focussed whanau, iwi and hapu of Maori or the centrality of the village community in Polynesian communities. In the latter contexts, regular prayer and relationality are often the norm, albeit now somewhat challenged by urbanisation and globalisation and the fragmentation that has resulted. The thesis concludes with a critique of the current text of the Prayer Book. It reflects on the need for language options for others within the Province and reflects on the missional appropriateness of the Prayer Book. It asks whether, amidst our focus on the three tikanga, we are missing missiological opportunities with migrant cultural groups who do not find a place within the current tikanga definitions nor within a prayer book that can often be very foreign to their culture and experience; a tome that offers them little place to stand. Finally, as a result of this research and writing I feel challenged to be Principal of this College in a different way and so as this thesis came to an end, for me it was but a beginning of exploring the concept of Principal as Abbot.
Advisor: Baab, Lynne
Degree Name: Master of Theology
Degree Discipline: Theology
Publisher: University of Otago
Keywords: Spirituality; New Zealand Prayer Book; Three Tikanga; Anglican
Research Type: Thesis