Of Revelation and Revolution, Volume 2: The Dialectics of Modernity on a South African Frontier
University of Chicago Press, 1991 - 612 pages
In the second of a proposed three-volume study, John and Jean Comaroff continue their exploration of colonial evangelism and modernity in South Africa. Moving beyond the opening moments of the encounter between the British Nonconformist missions and the Southern Tswana peoples, Of Revelation and Revolution, Volume II, explores the complex transactions—both epic and ordinary—among the various dramatis personae along this colonial frontier.
The Comaroffs trace many of the major themes of twentieth-century South African history back to these formative encounters. The relationship between the British evangelists and the Southern Tswana engendered complex exchanges of goods, signs, and cultural markers that shaped not only African existence but also bourgeois modernity "back home" in England. We see, in this volume, how the colonial attempt to "civilize" Africa set in motion a dialectical process that refashioned the everyday lives of all those drawn into its purview, creating hybrid cultural forms and potent global forces which persist in the postcolonial age.
This fascinating study shows how the initiatives of the colonial missions collided with local traditions, giving rise to new cultural practices, new patterns of production and consumption, new senses of style and beauty, and new forms of class distinction and ethnicity. As noted by reviewers of the first volume, the Comaroffs have succeeded in providing a model for the study of colonial encounters. By insisting on its dialectical nature, they demonstrate that colonialism can no longer be seen as a one-sided relationship between the conquering and the conquered. It is, rather, a complex system of reciprocal determinations, one whose legacy is very much with us today.
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PREACHERS AND PROPHETS The Domestication of the Sacred Word
CULTIVATION COLONIALISM AND CHRISTIANITY Toward a New African Genesis
CURRENCIES OF CONVERSION Of Markets Money and Value
FASHIONING THE COLONIAL SUBJECT The Empires Old Clothes
MANSIONS OF THE LORD Architecture Inferiority Domesticity
THE MEDICINE OF GODS WORD Saving the Soul by Tending the Flesh
African agrarian agriculture Bechuana Bechuanaland Bechuanaland Protectorate Bophuthatswana British Broadbent Cape capital cattle chapter chief chiefdoms Christian church civilizing mission clothing colonial evangelism colonial evangelists Comaroff communities conversion cultivation cultural Diamond Fields Advertiser domestic dress early economy effort ethnic European evangelical everyday example fact frontier gospel Griqua healing heathen Incoming Letters South indigenous interior John Mackenzie Kanye Kuruman labor land later Letters South Africa living Livingstone LMS and WMMS LMS Incoming Letters LMS South Africa Mafikeng material means missionaries modern modernist Modimo Moffat and Moffat Molema Molepolole Montshiwa moral narrative native Ngwato nineteenth century Nonconformists noted Palapye Philip Plaatje political practices processes production Protestant ritual Robert Moffat Schapera sekgoa sense setswana Shillington Shoshong social society South Africa Correspondence South Africa Reports Southern Tswana spiritual style Taung Thaba Nchu things tion Tlhaping trade Transvaal volume Willoughby WMMS women Wookey