Conversations about the religious and spiritual life on the other side of fundamentalism
294:  Māori and LDS: A Complex History of the LDS Church in New Zealand:  Prof. Peter Lineham

294: Māori and LDS: A Complex History of the LDS Church in New Zealand: Prof. Peter Lineham

In 2019 Professor Peter Lineham was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to religious history and the community.  And that honour is well deserved. 

Few, if any scholars in the field of religious history in New Zealand have the sweeping knowledge and intimate understanding of religion in Aotearoa. He’s written about Māori prophets to Catholic missionaries, including LDS history over the period of his distinguished career.

Peter’s fluency and his impressive breadth of understanding of the New Zealand Mormon history highlight the issues arising out of an American church who are in a complex relationship with New Zealand Māori.


  1. Rob McKay

    Professor Peter Lineham is always a delight to listen to. He speaks with passion and deep respect for all exclusive religious groups. His knowledge of Mormonism is profound and refreshing. Wisely his approach to exclusive religions he avoids the temptation to tidy up the gaps between the empirical and the miraculous. Interesting were his descriptive comments of 19th century Maori welcoming Mormon missionaries into Ngati Kahungunu but not in Ngati Porou. On this i recall the late Rev. Dr Hone Kaa telling me the same thing but with clear Ngati Porou pride. Peter also pointed out the historical injustice done to Maori by the Anglican Church in Porirua over the gift of land where sadly Chief Justice Judge Prenderagast judged unjustly to favour his Anglican Church over against the Maori people. The result of that ‘legal decision’ was the cause of many Maori leaving The Church of England and embracing Mormonism a non-British church.

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