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Enlightenment and mission in early nineteenth century South Africa

Enlightenment and mission in early nineteenth century South Africa

Stuart, Doug (2009) Enlightenment and mission in early nineteenth century South Africa. In: School of Humanities and Social Sciences Research Conference, 28 May 2009, University of Greenwich. (Unpublished)

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In the early 19th century the London Missionary Society’s activities in South Africa were the subject of great scandal and a source of disrepute. The behaviour and attitudes of the first wave of LMS missionaries had challenged, and caused outrage, to both the political and moral norms of the colony. The radical attitudes and unconventional private lives of many of the early missionaries had also clearly shocked the Directors in Europe. In these controversies, and in the manner that the Society dealt with them, there can be read a contestation about not only the character, but also the purpose of mission activity. Was the Missionary task to work for political stability, to spread European values and help prepare a compliant and educated workforce? Or was it to save ‘lost souls’ and turn people away from idolatry and sin? Or, again, was it to fight for the oppressed, to liberate slaves and oppose tyranny? These debates were framed in complex and contradictory ways by a larger discussion that was informed by the new ideas and agendas that had emerged in the 18th century, commonly referred to as ‘The Enlightenment’. This paper traces the contours of an engagement between ‘Evangelical’ values and ‘Enlightenment’ principles through an exploration of the issues of the day such as: abolitionism, women’s rights, civilization and savagery. [From the Author]

Item Type: Conference or Conference Paper (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: London Missionary Society, enlightenment, nineteenth century, South Africa,
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General)
D History General and Old World > DT Africa
Pre-2014 Departments: School of Humanities & Social Sciences
School of Humanities & Social Sciences > Department of Social, Political & Cultural Studies
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Last Modified: 14 Oct 2016 09:05
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
Selected for REF2021: None

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