Christian Leadership in a Secular Culture
This thesis analyses the experience of Christian leaders in New Zealand within three distinct contexts: primary school principals, National Party politicians, and management within a small to medium-sized business. Through detailed interview research, I show that these Christians express deep anxiety about the challenges they face as leaders within an increasingly secular society. Their contexts significantly shape their capacity to respond, with some affording much more room for manoeuvre than others. I argue that attention to Christian leadership helps illuminate the contours of a secular culture in New Zealand. This secular culture is influenced by state policy but is also enacted and sustained through everyday quotidian interactions, which discipline the space for public expression of religion. While this secular culture marginalises Christian voices within the public sphere, I also point to potential openings for moving beyond closure into dynamic public conversations about religion.