Lecture 4. The interplay of Christianity and Indigenous cultures and the impact on ecclesiastical architecture in Australia, Aotearoa New Zealand and other Pacific Rim countries

Christian missionaries and their churches have had a huge impact on Indigenous cultures and peoples across the world. Christian paradigms regarding Indigenous humanity were flawed and paradoxical (especially given that they were based on the concepts of Terra Nullius (Australia) and Manifest Destiny (US)) and efforts to protect and proselytize First Nations peoples across various countries on the Pacific Rim had mixed results. Despite this, over time, many Indigenous peoples have incorporated Christianity into their belief systems and enculturated western ecclesiastical architecture to reflect Indigenous cultural beliefs and needs. In a counteraction, some traditional forms of architecture have been given significance in Christian worship by Indigenous peoples. This lecture will discuss the interplay of Indigenous cultures with Christianity and the resultant ecclesiastical architecture in Australia and other countries around the Pacific Rim from colonization to the present.

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Lecture Notes