n English in Africa - Africanising Christian imagery in Southern African Missions




To read the process of the Africanising of Christian imagery as the 'natural' result of involving African artists in the production of religious art is to ignore the complex relationships between European missionaries and African converts. Such an approach does not take into account mission agendas in establishing Christianity in Africa, nor African agency in coopting Christian themes for new purposes. To negotiate a path through this complex terrain, I have chosen to focus chiefly on woodcarving developed in the earlier twentieth century in southern Africa, in the Transvaal, Natal and Rhodesia, today the Northern Province, KwaZulu-Natal and Zimbabwe, although I shall use the historical names which were current at the time.


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