Prof. John Stenhouse

University of Otago - History

John Stenhouse is an Associate Professor at the University of Otago. His research interests focus on the interconnections between science, religion, race, politics and gender in the modern world, using New Zealand as the major site of study.

John’s interest in this area developed through his childhood- His Father taught Zoology at the University of Queensland in the 1960s, after studying philosophy and science at the University of Otago. John states that he has always been interested in seeing how everything fits together and considering reality as a whole. In the late 1970s, he began to attend church which expanded this interest. Following this, he completed his PhD, The battle between science and religion over evolution in nineteenth century New Zealand.

John is currently working on three projects:

  • Humanitarian and Māori Christians and their critics in colonial New Zealand.
  • Christian missions and knowledge-making from the early church to the twenty-first century.
  • Religion, politics, race and gender in southern Dunedin 1880–1940s.

John is also a member of the New Zealand Historical Association, the Religious History Association, the History of Science Society, the Pacific Circle Commission of the International Union for the History and Philosophy of Science, the Royal Society Historical Branch and a board member of the Otago Theological Foundation.

Recent Publications

Stenhouse, J. (2022, September). Reading Darwin during and after the New Zealand Wars, 1860-1890. History Programme Research Seminar, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand. [Department Seminar].

Stenhouse, J. (2022, September). Blowing the whistle on sweated labour: The Reverend Rutherford Waddell and the great anti-sweating campaign, 1880-1900. Whistleblowers: Honoured, vilified or forgotten?, University of the Third Age, Dunedin, New Zealand. [Research Presentation].

Stenhouse, J. (2022, March). Evolution and creation in New Zealand. Science & Belief in Society Podcast with James Riley and Richard Grove, International Research Network for the Study of Science & Belief in Society. Retrieved from

Stenhouse, J. (2022). Reading Darwin during the New Zealand wars: Science, religion, politics and race, 1835–1900. Studies in History & Philosophy of Science96, 87-99. doi: 10.1016/j.shpsa.2022.09.002

Stenhouse, J. (2022). Hirini Kaa explores the history of the Māori Anglican Church [Review of the book Te Hāhi Mihinare: The Māori Anglican Church]. History Australia19(1), 181-183. doi: 10.1080/14490854.2022.2028560