"I See God Out the Back of My Farm" Exploring Christianity and Sustainability on NZ Farms
This thesis explores the relationship between Christianity and sustainability within the context of rural New Zealand meat and dairy farmers. Looking at the various definitions of sustainability that were given through my fieldwork in the Waikato and Nelson/Golden Bay areas, I describe the contested, ambiguous, and diverse understandings of sustainability that farmers employ. Within this contestation, I explain how Christianity plays a vital role in farming practices and beliefs. Using in-depth case study analysis, I explore the textured and nuanced ways that farmers engage, critique and support sustainability on their farms. Questions of sustainability are explored through farmers’ descriptions of their relationships with both their land and surrounding communities.