On 15-16 February, Christians engaged in research or scholarship gathered at Te Herenga Waka Marae at Victoria University of Wellington. The conference aimed to make room for plenty of karakia, kai and kōrero and to inspire participants with stories by emerging Kiwi scholars from a broad range of disciplines.
Rev. Dr Joe McGarry, Anglican Studies Co-ordinator, said, “It was good to be around a collection of folks in the same spot, who can often feel like they have no home in their institution, that their Christianity is not welcome there and that their scholarship is not welcome in the church, to be reminded that they’re not alone. There were leading scholars in their fields from all around the country. It was good to be together on the marae, too – all the sessions were in the wharenui. We looked at what it means to be a Christian in the space – everyone from leukaemia researchers to Crown lawyers to university faculty to sociologists.”
The organisers hoped that the experience would be like a mini-sabbatical. McGarry said the hosts were remarkable and that it felt like they had created the experience as a gift.