On-line version ISSN 2309-8392
MULLER, Retief. Afrikaner socio-theological discourse in the early twentieth century: War and mission in J. F. Naudé and J. du Plessis. Historia [online]. 2014, vol.59, n.2, pp. 309-325. ISSN 2309-8392.
The lives and works of two formative and controversial Afrikaner Christian leaders, Jozua Francois Naudé, and Johannes du Plessis, are considered in this article and evaluated according to the themes of war and mission. Both had public careers in the years spanning both the Anglo-Boer War and the First World War. Both men were significant in terms of the emerging Afrikaner nationalist discourse; Naudé especially so, with much of his own life choices marked by nationalist aspirations. Du Plessis presents a rather more complex, even ambiguous picture. He was controversial enough to be considered by some historians of South African Christianity as representative of an alternative Afrikaner Christian discourse that would eventually challenge the normative neo-Calvinist nationalism espoused by the religious establishment. Their contributions during the different war years are assessed here and while it is clearly evident that J.F. Naudé was an ardent defender of the Boer cause as well as being a supporter of the 1914 Boer Rebellion during the First World War, du Plessis on the other hand seems to have had a more fluid understanding of nationalism, that started out staunchly pro-Boer, but would later acquire more inclusive perspectives.
Keywords : J.F. Naudé; Johannes du Plessis; Anglo-Boer War; First World War; Afrikaner nationalism; Christianity.