The Bible in Africa: Transactions, Trajectories, and Trends

By Gerald O. West; Musa W. Dube | Go to book overview

the missionaries and colonial authorities. Nevertheless, in its forthright appropriation of Christian symbolism and ethics, while it retains a positive valuation of indigenous Zulu culture and history, it represents a critical phase of the “long conversation” between the missionaries and the colonized peoples of Africa. The symbols and values emerging from Colenso's mission were seized upon by his converts, and had an impact beyond what he could have imagined. Historical consciousness became a central ingredient of that bricolage constructed by Fuze, and enables him to understand the black people of southern Africa as having a place and an identity and a future beyond what was offered to them by the ideology of empire.

It is no accident that Fuze is an advocate for the nascent African National Congress. He, together with Ngidi, was active and instrumental in the uncovering of colonial duplicity in the case of the Hlubi chief Langalibalele (Guy 1983: 193–214, esp. 206) and also, subsequently, in the defence of Cetshwayo and Dinizulu, even beyond Colenso's own death. Perhaps the link between early Natal and the formation of the ANC owes something to the peculiar nature of Colenso's mission and the responses it evoked among the emergent Zulu intellectuals as bricoleurs. Certainly the early Zulu Congress leaders were known as “the Bishopstowe faction” after the name of Colenso's home (Guy 1983: 242).


BIBLIOGRAPHY

Berger, P. & Luckmann, T. The Social Construction of Reality: A Treatise in the Sociology of Knowledge. New York: Doubleday, 1966.

Berglund, A.-I. Zulu Thought-Patterns and Symbolism. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1976.

Burnett, B.B. The Mission Work of the First Anglican Bishop of Natal, the Rt. Reverend J.W. Colenso, between 1852–1873. Unpublished MA Dissertation of Rhodes University, 1947.

Chidester, D. Savage Systems: Colonialism and Comparative Religion in Southern Africa.

Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1996.

Cockshutt, A.O.J. Anglican Attitudes. London: Collins, 1959.

Colenso, J.W. Ten Weeks in Natal. A Journal of a First Tour of Visitation among the Colonists and Zulu Kafirs of Natal. Cambridge, 1855.

Colenso, J.W. First Steps of the Zulu Mission, 1860. Reprinted in Colenso, Bringing Forth Light, 43–161.

Colenso, J.W. St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans: Newly Translated, and Explained from a Missionary Point of View. Pietermaritzburg: Ekukanyeni Mission Press, 1861a.

Colenso, J.W. A Letter to His Grace the Archbishop of Canterbury, upon the Question of the Proper Treatment of Cases of Polygamy, as Found Already Existing in Converts from Heathenism. Ekukhanyeni: Mission Press, 1861b.

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