Spirituality, Pākehā and no religion in Aotearoa/New Zealand : ideas within the dominant ethnicity
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
I examine spirituality within my own ethnicity: white, mainly middleclass Pākehā of English descent who ticked no religion in the 2013 census. I argue that we all have beliefs as do religiously and ethnically defined Others; our ideas about the groups we identify with and the Others not like ourselves. Belief enables us, but can function to impede social inclusiveness, acceptance of different others, and the maintenance of a democratic society. My ethnicity requires more awareness of our social privilege and the history of Aotearoa/New Zealand, but mostly, we need to understand how easy it is to turn a blind eye to anything that disturbs us. New Zealand identities ticking no religion are steadily increasing. My particular Pākehā ethnicity with no religion, do not want to be told what to believe by any proselytising identity however, they largely do not challenge how reason without empathy justifies corporate ambitions, governmental actions and inaction, media responses and popular opinions in relation to global and local Others: ngā iwi Māori, the poor and migrants.