Christianity and the Colonisation of South Africa, 1487-1883

A Documentary History, Volume I

By Charles Villa-Vicencio, Peter Grassow

The initial religious encounters between settlers in southern Africa and the indigenous inhabitants entailed the establishment of settler churches and the relationships with their home countries. However, this era saw little by way of the spread of Christianity. In 1799, with the arrival of Johannes van der Kemp and other missionaries from the London Missionary Society, Christianity began to cross colonial boundaries, marking the great era of missions in southern Africa. At the outset, the missionary presence remained precariously perched between success and failure. While missionary influence among the indigenous peoples was relatively insignificant, the opposite was true within the colony. At the same time, expansion pressures from the Cape precipitated growing conflict between settlers and indigenous peoples. Increasingly, missionaries were caught between the interests of indigenous peoples and those of the colony. For the most part, they sided with their colonial heritage and roots, but in some significant instances, their identification with indigenous people led them to take extremely unpopular stands against both Boer and British colonial authority. Such conflicts are traced at various levels throughout this book. The broader spread of Christianity during this period is also examined through multiple voices and stories.

378 pages

Publication Date: 6/1/2009
Format: Paper
ISBN: 9781868883998