A study of the place of Samoan culture (fa'aSamoa) in two New Zealand churches
Thesis DisciplineReligious Studies
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
This study attempts to look at the influence that fa'aSamoa (Samoan Culture) has on churches in New Zealand, based on the experiences of Samoans from the Pacific Islanders Presbyterian Church and Congregational Christian Church of Samoa. The bulk of the research was carried out in the Christchurch area over the period of a year. Survey techniques included questionnaires, interviews with key figures in the Samoan community and participant observation. A key aim of the study was to compare the views of respondents who were born and/or raised in New Zealand and born and/or raised in Samoa. Chapter One provides a historical background to the establishment of the relationship between Samoans and Christianity. Chapters Two and Three focus on two of the most powerful leadership figures in Samoa church life generally- the ‘Minister’ and the ‘Deacon’. In contrast, Chapters Four and Five focus on two groups that have been to some extent always in the background of Samoan church life- ‘Women’ and ‘Youth’.