The New Zealand Student Christian Movement, 1896-1936 [article]

P. E. Sutton, University Of Canterbury
The historian who attempts a research into student life in New Zealand is somewhat hampered by the lonely nature of his quest. He follows a course through virgin territory where few of his sources lie ready at hand. This is particularly true in a study of Christian society within the University, and the present writer is fully aware of such limitations in undertaking a history of the first forty years in the New Zealand Student Christian Movement. One could not ignore the forbidding tangle of
more » ... touched sources. At the same time some fresh wild roses are peeping out from behind their thorny defences. There is the fragrancy of student life, the rich colour of youthful aspirations, and the steady rhythms of change as each generation burgeous forth and gives place to new growth every three or four years. By its very nature the Student Christian Movement provides a microcosm of the wider student community. With our attention concentrated on a comparatively restricted field, we may draw conclusions which transcend the immediate limits of the subject, and reach out into large questions of Church and State. Such a work would be futile and deceptive unless it were founded in the sure base of original sources. Therefore, the write has sought to mould his thesis from contemporary date in each period, with especial references to letters, minutes of proceedings, memoirs, and reports of student activities. Correspondents in Australia, Canada, the United States of America, South Africa, and China have provided some revealing comparative information. Newspapers and periodicals have furnished valuable corroborative evidence. Sometimes books, and more frequently, study pamphlets, have supplied useful secondary information. But it was chiefly through personal interviews with past leaders that the spirit of successive generations has been recaptures, however inadequately. This method of research may involve more extensive investigations than is required for historical studies which bloom in a solid rich with acknowledge authorities; [...]
doi:10.26021/5051 fatcat:we5d5zqqtvdgfazb2dchp3lqxm