Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae
On-line version ISSN 2412-4265
Print version ISSN 1017-0499
DENIS, Philippe. Race, politics and religion: The first Catholic mission in Zululand (1895 - 1907). Studia Hist. Ecc. [online]. 2010, vol.36, n.1, pp.1-19. ISSN 2412-4265.
This paper explores the strategies deployed by the Catholic authorities in the late 19th century to gain access to Zululand, their approach to race relations and their relationship to the colonial enterprise in general. The first Catholic mission in Zululand was established in 1895 through a remarkable conjunction of events: the intervention of an ecclesiastical visitator, the decision made by John Dunn, the "white chief", on his death bed to entrust the education of his children to the Catholic Church and Bishop Jolivet's friendship with the British resident commissioner. The Catholic missionaries empathised with the Zulu culture, but remained imbued with colonial prejudices. They treated the first black Oblate and the first black priest in a discriminatory manner.