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Title:Error in the religious equation: images of St Peter's school in South African autobiography
Author:Woeber, Catherine
Periodical:The English Academy Review
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:Christian education
About person:Peter Henry Abrahams (1919-)ISNI
External link:https://doi.org/10.1080/10131759585310081
Abstract:In the period between 1922 and 1956 St Peter's school (run by the Anglican Community of the Resurrection (CR)) was the only secondary school for blacks in the Transvaal, admitting pupils from all over South Africa. Of the so-called 'school' of black South African autobiographers who published their experiences between 1954 and 1963, most received their schooling at St Peter's. This paper explores the images of St Peter's school in two literary autobiographies which deal with the school, 'Down Second Avenue' (1959), by Es'kia Mphahlele, and 'Tell freedom' (1954), by Peter Abrahams. In particular, it explores the views of the two autobiographers as to the extent to which the Fathers were prepared to build on the intercultural dynamic of the school in their relations with both pupils and former pupils. Due to the CR Fathers Trevor Huddleston and Martin Jarrett-Kerr the initial ideas of the CR about African education, which touched on racism and Eurocentricity, were replaced by an increasingly radicalized ideology in the 1940s, making St Peter's the exception to other mission schools of the time. Bibliogr.