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Indigenous Southern Africans And Colonialism: Introduction

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Chapter Summary

This is the introductory of the book, which explains complex African responses to colonialism from the 1840s to the 1920s. Every chapter in the book touches on the role of Christianity. Christianity posed problems for nationalists, mainly because the first evangelists were Europeans sent from the very countries most involved in the extension of imperial overrule. The people we meet in each of the chapters accept modernity, but never on precisely the terms set down by the colonisers. What modern Europeans might regard as insignificant distinctions in the character of colonialism were vital to Africans. Most of the chapters in the book touch in one way or another on the role of chiefs and commoners in negotiating the confrontation with colonial modernity. Finally, the author talks about the African evangelist as a key mediator of colonialism and modernity among the Cree people of Canada and the Xhosa of South Africa.

Keywords: Canada; Christianity; Colonialism; Europeans; Evangelists; Indigenous Southern Africans; Xhosa



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