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Journal for the Study of Religion

versión On-line ISSN 2413-3027
versión impresa ISSN 1011-7601


MATSHA, Rachel Matteau. Mapping an interoceanic landscape: Dube and Gandhi in early 20th century Durban, South Africa. J. Study Relig. [online]. 2014, vol.27, n.2, pp.238-269. ISSN 2413-3027.

Building on existing scholarship in the field of Indian Ocean studies, this paper argues that through two major historic figures, namely John Langalibalele Dube (1871-1946) and Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (1869-1948), the Indian Ocean and the Black Atlantic converged in Inanda (Durban), where notions of nation, nationalism, modernity and civilization were articulated and defined. In doing so, this paper offers a South African vantage point from which to understand the Indian and Atlantic Oceans' role in the intellectualization of the imperial context in South Africa, as part of a set of South-South exchanges and connections. Following a brief historical overview of 20th century Natal, the differences, parallels and interactions between Dube and Gandhi's personas and ideologies, and the influence of religion on their work, are discussed and supported through an examination of the Ohlange Institute and the Phoenix Settlement, as well as a comparative analysis of Ilanga and Indian Opinion archival material, as physical and written expressions of their respective outlook on life. Finally, this case study suggests an understanding of the emergence of African and Indian nationalism and modernity in 20th century South Africa as a transnational phenomenon.

Palabras clave : Dube; Gandhi; Indian Ocean Studies; nationalism; nation; transnationalism; modernity; civilization.

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