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On-line version ISSN 2309-8392
Print version ISSN 0018-229X


ERLANK, Natasha. Southern African Christianities and Mission Effort under Review. Historia [online]. 2015, vol.60, n.1, pp.156-166. ISSN 2309-8392.

In this article I review three books which cover, from different directions, aspects of the history of missions and Christianity in southern Africa. These include debates about the indigenisation of evangelical effort, the role of gender in shaping missions, and the political force represented by Christianity. African Teachers on the Colonial Frontier: Tswana Evangelists and their Communities during the Nineteenth Century, by Stephen Volz, is a detailed study of the spread of Christianity in Tswana communities, and the role played by Tswana evangelists, in a broad swathe from what is now the Free State province of South Africa, across North-West Province and into northern Botswana. The Farmerfield Mission: A Christian Community in South Africa, 1838-2008, by Fiona Vernal, examines the operation of a residential mission for Africans and Khoe in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. Vernal's work covers the period from the establishment of the mission, through the difficulties experienced during the early twentieth century and subsequent forced removals, as well as the resettlement of the descendants of former tenants through land restitution efforts in the early twenty-first century. Richard Elphick's The Equality of Believers: Protestant Missionaries and the Racial Politics of South Africa, discusses the role played by protestant Christian forces in the making and challenging of racial ascription and discrimination in South Africa from the late nineteenth century through to roughly the 1960s.

Keywords : London Missionary Society; Wesleyan Methodist Missionary Society; missions; Christianity; Botswana; South Africa.

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