Harden Not Your Hearts

An Examination of Conversion to and Indigenization of Christianity Among the Māori of New Zealand


  • Katlyn Kichko University of Alberta




This paper studies the Christianization, and consequent indigenization of faith, by the Māori on the North Island of New Zealand in the nineteenth century. The Christianization of the Māori illuminates the process of indigenization by which foreign faiths are adopted by native populations. In examining the Christianization of the Māori, one can come to understand the process of indigenization, that is the adoption of a foreign faith by a native population. Understanding the conversion process by the British on an indigenous population allows contemporary scholars to not only acknowledge the truth of the past, but also move forward with explanations regarding the current state of relations between settlers (Pākehā) and the indigenous (Māori), as well as between the Māori and their varying faiths. Specifically, in this paper I
argue that the process of conversion, as well as the impact of missionization and Pākehā desire for land, contributed to the development of Māori prophetic movements, an indigenized form of faith, which exemplified the complexities of British missionization in the nineteenth century.







Social Sciences & Humanities