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New Zealand Jesus

Social and Religious Transformations of an Image, 1890–1940

Geoffrey Troughton

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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List of Abbreviations 9

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9 List of Abbreviations AJHR Appendices to the Journal of the House of Representatives ANZ Archives New Zealand, Wellington ATL Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington CC Church Chronicle DNZB Dictionary of New Zealand Biography (online edition) ENZ Encyclopaedia of New Zealand EP Evening Post JRH Journal of Religious History MAC Minutes of Annual Conference, Methodist Church of New Zealand MW Maoriland Worker NZB New Zealand Baptist NZH New Zealand Herald NZJH New Zealand Journal of History NZMBC Link New Zealand Methodist Bible Class Link NZMT New Zealand Methodist Times NZOYB New Zealand Official Year Book NZPD New Zealand Parliamentary Debates NZ Tablet New Zealand Tablet ODT Otago Daily Times PCANZARC Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand Archives Research Centre, Dunedin PCNZ Presbyterian Church of New Zealand PGA Proceedings of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of New Zealand PGS Proceedings of the General Synod of the Church of the Province of New Zealand TS Truth Seeker YCU Yearbook of the Congregational Union of New Zealand

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