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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:A case of hopeless failure: the role of missionaries in the transformation of Southern Africa's indigenous architecture
Author:Frescura, FrancoISNI
Year:2015
Periodical:Journal for the Study of Religion (ISSN 1011-7601)
Volume:28
Issue:2
Pages:64-86
Language:English
Geographic terms:Southern Africa
South Africa
Lesotho
Subjects:missions
ethics
culture
cosmology
architecture
missionary history
Abstract:Missionary efforts in Southern Africa during the 19th and early 20th centuries focused primarily upon its indigenous people, seeking to bring changes to their patterns of living. Faced with such issues as polygamy, initiation, child price (lobola), ancestral worship, beer drinking, und teenage sexual morality, most did not attempt to understand the nature of these social institutions, and chose to confront them in what they believed to be an uncompromising and 'moral' Christian manner. Linked to this was an attempt to bring about changes to the indigenous environment and indigenous housing. This paper seeks to show that although a number of changes to local architecture are indeed present, these are largely cosmetic and the result of a pragmatic transfer of technology, leaving the cosmological core of indigenous settlement largely untouched. Bibliogr., sum. [Journal abstract]
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