On the 12th of September 2014, a six-story church hostel collapsed suddenly in Lagos, Nigeria, killing 116 people, 85 of whom were South African. Christianity and colonialism: the Tswana case the politics of Christianity We begin, then, by examining the part played by missionaries in the 19th-century political life of a Tswana people, the Barolong boo Ratshidi (Tshidi).2 The Tshidi, who lived along the Molopo River that today divides Botswana from South Africa… Following this approach, the authors argue that more space needs to be created for the importance of religious – specifically Protestant Christian – imaginaries in the making of public spheres in modern South Africa alongside the more explicitly political and nation-state focused. The picture Dlamini paints is of a highly varied religious landscape, with Christian believers fluidly moving between different churches and denominations all broadly inspired by a Protestant-holiness tradition of faith healing and a belief in the intervention of the Holy Spirit. H. Englund, ‘Rethinking African Christianities: Beyond the Religion-Politics Conundrum’, in H. Englund, ed., Christianity and Public Culture in Africa (Athens: Ohio University Press, 2011), 3–4. South African involvement in Angola ended formally after the signing of a United Nations-brokered agreement known as the New York Accords between the governments of Angola, Cuba and South Africa, resulting in the withdrawal of all foreign troops from Angola and also South Africa's withdrawal from South West Africa (now Namibia), which the UN regarded as illegally occupied since 1966. From about ~50,000BC groups of San people migrate out Southern Africa eventually giving rise (apparently) to modern man in the rest of the world. No major history of religion in South Africa has been written. 8 B. Sundkler, Bantu Prophets in South Africa (London: Lutterworth Press, 1948), 53, 55. Department of History, University of Texas at Austin, USA. Further afield, Africans were critically involved in the interwar period in ecumenical movements like the International Missionary Council, which took a key role in attempts to create a ‘new global order’, one that looked to the emergent human rights regime in the west as a vehicle for social transformation.51 In modern Africa, alongside Yoruba Anglicans’ mobilisation of Christianity for the promotion of a nascent Yoruba-speaking nationalism, we also find the many instances of Protestant organisations that resisted co-option to patriotic causes, instead insisting upon their more expansive identities as citizens of the world – and ultimately of heaven itself. The national census of 2001 found that around 80% of the population identified as Christian, with nearly 72% of this group affiliated to some form of Protestantism (around half identified themselves as ‘independent’ Christians of some description).6 Responding to the clear demographic significance of this particular strand of the worldwide Christian tradition in South Africa, one of the goals of this special issue is to inquire into the historically and geographically contingent qualities that Protestant Christianity has assumed in the country, as well as its impact of broader features of everyday life. The Alexandria-based church initially used Greek, and it was not until the late 2nd century that both the liturgy and the scriptures were translated into three native languages. A history of Christian missions in South Africa Item Preview remove-circle Share or Embed This Item . converted to Christianity. 6 W.J. This special issue on new directions in the study of Christianity in South Africa affords new prominence to the historical importance of Protestant Christianity in the country. Tiyo went to Scotland, where he was baptized in 1848. The best available short introduction to South African church history is Peter Hinchliff’s very readable The Church in South Africa (London: S.P.C.K., 1968). 50 J. Cabrita, The People’s Zion: Southern Africa, the United States and a Transatlantic Faith-Healing Movement (forthcoming Harvard University Press, 2018). Thinking in terms of a wider Protestant landscape – while not negating the importance of detailed studies of individual denominations – has the potential to yield important convergences and continuities between mission and independent churches, as well as a more connected, linked-up understanding of the social and cultural significance of Christianity in modern South Africa. 56 C. Burlacioiu, ‘Expansion Without Western Missionary Agency and Constructing Confessional Identities: The African Orthodox Church Between the United States, South Africa, and East Africa (1921–1940)’, Journal of World Christianity, 6, 1 (2016), 82, doi:10.5325/JWORLCHRI.6.1.0082. African Christianity: An Overview Ogbu U. Kalu INTRODUCTION Since the conversion of Emperor Constantine, the story of Christianity has increasingly appeared to be the story of a western religion. Transatlantic Slave Trade 5. VII /1975, pp. Zaccheus Mahabane, ANC president in the 1920s and 1930s, a Wesleyan minister, called upon his Christianity to support at ‘Common Brotherhood of Man, irrespective of race, colour or creed’, and was damning and vocal about the theology of pre-destination which he viewed as the scourge of Afrikaner nationalist Calvinism.38 The work of historian Daniel Magaziner has effectively shown the centrality of Christian ideas to the Black Consciousness student movement of the 1970s.39. In other words, scholars have long assumed the key feature of (African) Christianity to be whether the Christians under study subscribed to an essentially Western variant of the faith, on the one hand, or if they pioneered a supposedly more indigenous ‘Africanised’ version of Christianity, on the other. share. DOI: … More broadly, transnationalism has become a theme that increasingly preoccupies historians of South Africa, with studies abounding of exchanges transatlantic exchanges,46 new histories of the Indian Ocean,47 and a revisionary perspective aimed at overcoming the isolationist tendency in much South African scholarship by viewing the country in the context of its relationships with its regional neighbours.48 Indeed, the notion of South Africa as a static territorial-political unit with discrete immovable borders is far from the whole story. Christianity in Sub-Saharan Africa. 30 R. Elphick, Christianity in South Africa: A Political, Social and Cultural History (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1997), 2; N. Southey, ‘History, Church History and Historical Theology in South Africa’, Journal of Theology for Southern Africa, 68 (1989), 5–16. Mark the Evangelist made history in the year 43 when he became the first bishop to serve in the Orthodox Church of Alexandria. In this clear and readable history of Christianity in South Africa, Kevin Roy answers these questions with comprehensive, succinct and rigorous historical analysis with sympathy and honesty. Combining with the aforementioned Marxist critique of religion in many historical circles, Christianity became something that theology departments ‘did’, while secular history departments focused on more ‘concrete’ questions of class, resistance, land and economics. This qualification is not only true of Christians belonging to South Africa’s historic mission churches. 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