n Historia - Mission history with an anthropological twist
Mission Station Christianity: Norwegian Missionaries in Colonial Natal and Zululand, Southern Africa, 1850-1890, Ingie Hovland : book review




Ingie Hovland's is a consummate and welcome addition to the mission history canon. Histories of Christianity and mission in southern Africa enjoyed a heyday during the 1990s. This was due to growing interest in religious identities among colonised peoples and the complex connections between Christianity and indigenous resistance and assimilation at the time. The works of Jean and John Comaroff and Elizabeth Elbourne were exemplars of this trend. Their path-breaking studies were worthy heirs to the remarkable, earlier contributions by Norman Etherington. After a quiet decade, histories of Christianity and mission are showing signs of resurgence. Richard Elphick's recent monograph, (2012), signals renewed momentum in the field. Hot on his heels is Ingie Hovland's new offering. This thought-provoking text proffers a mission history with an anthropological twist. In doing so, Hovland has taken up a call made by Etherington back in the 1970s for interdisciplinary studies to provide more comprehensive analyses of the study of mission.


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