Fiona Vernal

in The Farmerfield Mission

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780199843404
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199950546 | DOI:

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The introduction situates Farmerfield within three broad historiographical frameworks: first, antislavery and evangelicalism and the important ideological cross fertilizations between them which contributed in profound ways to shaping the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century discourses about African social and economic improvement that European missionaries brought to the mission; second, the intersection of colonialism and Christianity and debates over African agency and missionary complicity; third, the literature on the Eastern Cape, an important loci for understanding colonial warfare and the antecedents of racial and class formation, amalgamation, and domination in the aftermath of slavery and before the mineral revolution in South Africa. Farmerfield’s successive generation of African residents used the tools of faith, literacy, education, land and their bonds to a powerful evangelical organization to secure their long-term interests; later in the 1990s, former residents engaged the post-apartheid land reform agenda to launch the experiment anew.

Keywords: Farmerfield; missions; mission stations; missionary; African agency; Christianity; Eastern Cape; South Africa; colonialism; empire

Chapter.  12374 words. 

Subjects: Christianity

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