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Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae

versión On-line ISSN 2412-4265
versión impresa ISSN 1017-0499


TJELLE, Kristin Fjelde. Abandoned ideals of brotherhood? A masculinity perspective on the relationship between 19th century Norwegian missionaries and Zulu pastors. Studia Hist. Ecc. [online]. 2010, vol.36, n.1, pp.1-13. ISSN 2412-4265.

The Lutheran Norwegian Missionary Society (NMS) sent in 1844 its first missionaries to the Zulus. The NMS' goal was to establish native churches which become self-supporting, self-governing and self-propagating. This "three-self" formula was to be accomplished by winning individual souls to Christianity, organising them into churches and providing them with trained, indigenous ministry. Baleni kaNdlela Mthimkhulu was the first Zulu pastor to be ordained in NMS in 1893. The paper asks why it took so long for NMS missionaries to fulfil their original objective of recruiting, educating and ordaining indigenous church personnel. Furthermore, why were the Zulu pastors after ordination still treated as the missionaries' subordinates? The questions are discussed from a masculinity perspective. The paper argues that internal church relations between these groups of men were influenced by external political and societal power relations where white masculinity had hegemony. The Norwegian missionaries' ambivalent understanding of the Zulu man reflected common colonial discourses, where Zulu men on one hand were portrayed as physical strong and well-gifted men with rich potential, on the other hand as unstable, emotional and childish men.

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