The Sir Lloyd Geering Scholarship in Religion - 20th Oct 2020

The study of religion explores the horizons of human diversity and possibility. It invites us to understand the very different ways that people live their lives. In Religious Studies, we examine the world’s faiths in their interactions with politics and society, morality and ethics, and in the shaping of human imagination and experience. 

2020 marks the 50-year anniversary of the Religious Studies programme at Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington. Over its history,  the programme has grown to be one of the largest and most influential of its kind in Australasia, with a longstanding reputation for outstanding teaching and cutting-edge research. 

We are delighted to launch the Sir Lloyd Geering Scholarship in Religion to celebrate Lloyd’s contribution to the Religious Studies programme,  to the study of religion more generally, and his legacy of prescient and progressive thinking. We are seeking to raise $200,000. This would support a postgraduate scholarship of at least $10,000 each year in perpetuity. Thanks to generous donors we are already halfway towards this goal. 

Celebrating New Zealand’s “prophet of modernity” 

Sir Lloyd GeeringONZ, GNZM, CBE is one of New Zealand’s most eminent and influential thinkers and commentators on religion. A mathematician and theologian by training, Lloyd was Professor of Old Testament  Studies and then Principal of Theological Hall Dunedin before becoming the Foundation Professor of Religious Studies at Victoria University of  Wellington in 1971, a position he held until his retirement in 1984 when he was appointed Professor Emeritus.

Lloyd has been at the centre of debates about religion in New Zealand and has contributed more broadly to thinking about transformations of religions and society in modernity.  

The horizons of his research incorporated critical reflection on broad-ranging themes, including the history of religion, religion and the secular, environmental and social justice, diversity, scripture and theology, lived religion, religion in New Zealand, and the future of religion. After his retirement, he continued to contribute widely to public discussion about spirituality, the future of religion, and other matters of common human concern. We want this great legacy to continue. 

We invite you to support the Sir Lloyd Geering Scholarship in Religion.  Your contribution will help a new generation of students learn to tackle the compelling issues of their time with the fresh thinking and expansive imagination that Lloyd exemplified. Through this scholarship you can make a transformational difference to students, giving them the opportunity to complete a postgraduate degree and become critical and creative thinkers in our communities.  

A gift of any amount will contribute to this goal and support high-quality research in Religious Studies that produces valuable new understandings. We make a commitment to all our donors that  100% of your gift goes directly to supporting the scholarship with no administration charge deducted. Donations may be eligible for a  charitable gift taxation rebate.  


Thank you for your interest in our Religious Studies programme.


For further details contact: 

Corinne Barnard 

Development Manager - Humanities and Social Sciences 

Development Office 

Victoria University of Wellington 

Phone: +64 4 463 6952 

Mobile: +64 22 4971 679 



Dr Geoff Troughton 

Programme Director 

Religious Studies 

School of Social and Cultural Studies 

Victoria University of Wellington 

Phone: +64 4 463 5590 



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