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Manuka Henare teaches Maori development courses on the Faculty of Commerce, at The University of Auckland. He has taught in the School of Maori Studies, Victoria University of Wellington, on Maori religion, cosmology, traditional history and the environment. He is currently finishing a major study of early nineteenth century (1820-1840) Maori religion, philosophy and worldview -- its coherence and flexibility to accommodate cultural, economic and political developments. For instance, the type of subsistence economy of the time, as some describe it, is better referred to as an economy of "affection", or as a cosmology economy. This period is the pre-colonial time. Today in our global monetarist driven economy, Maori attitudes, values, ethics provide an alternative critique of economic and resource management principles and practices. My academic background is anthropology and history. For twenty-eight years in his previous career in justice, peace and development organisations he travelled the Pacific Islands (Micronesia, Polynesia and Melanesia) and Asia assessing human rights and development projects for both government and non-government development programmes. He was for nine years the national director of the NZ Catholic Bishops Conference Commission for Justice, Peace and Development. He have a background in theology.

 

Abstract of paper given at Indigenous Traditions and Ecology conference:
Tapu, mauri, hau, mana: A Maori Philosophy of Vitalism and the Cosmos

Maori Polynesians of Aotearoa (New Zealand) know of the life forces, the vital essences, the potentialities and the intrinsic spiritual powers of persons their thoughts, words and deeds, of tribes and groups, of land, forests, seas and waterways, of economics and politics, and of the universe. Constantly referred to in rituals and other daily practices, a distinctive Polynesian religion, Maori religion, is maintained together with its world view and sets of ethics and values.

 

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Indigenous Traditions and Ecology conference participants