Spirituality and Religion in the Lives of New Zealanders

By Franco Vaccarino, Heather Kavan and Philip Gendall.

Published by The International Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Society

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

New Zealand is a multi-faith country that is becoming
increasingly secular, with the mainline Protestant churches
losing tens of thousands of adherents each census. The
purpose of this study is to get a clearer understanding of
New Zealand’s secularisation process. The International
Social Survey Programme (ISSP) questionnaire was used to
capture the religious landscape. A random selection of
2040 New Zealand adults yielded 1027 valid responses, and
the data were weighted for age and gender. The results
showed a decline in adherence to religious institutions,
coinciding with a reduced faith in the traditional
monotheistic view of God. However, reports of religious
experience increased. Additionally, 30.5% agreed with the
statement, “I don’t follow a religion, but am a spiritual
person interested in the sacred/supernatural.” The results
draw attention to the ineffectiveness of census results and
church attendance surveys as a measure of how religious a
population is.

Keywords: Secularisation, Christianity, Multi-faith, International Social Survey Programme, Beliefs, Religious Experience

The International Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Society, Volume 1, Issue 2, pp.85-96. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 760.546KB).

Dr. Franco Vaccarino

Senior Lecturer, School of Communication, Journalism and Marketing, Massey University, Palmerston North, Manawatu, New Zealand

Dr. Heather Kavan

Lecturer, Department of Communication, Journalism and Marketing, Massey University, Palmerston North, Manawatu, New Zealand

Philip Gendall

Massey University, Manawatu, New Zealand