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Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae

On-line version ISSN 2412-4265
Print version ISSN 1017-0499


SEROTO, Johannes. Dynamics of decoloniality in South Africa: a critique of the history of Swiss Mission education for indigenous people. Studia Hist. Ecc. [online]. 2018, vol.44, n.3, pp.1-14. ISSN 2412-4265.

This paper presents a new framework to analyse missionary education in South Africa, using Grosfoguel's conceptual and methodological lens of coloniality of power, coloniality of knowledge, and coloniality of being. Firstly, the paper introduces the theoretical lens that undergirds this study and describes the three above-mentioned dimensions. Rather than seek generalisations concerning missionary education in the historical record, the paper presents an analysis of the endeavours of the Swiss Mission Society as an example of Protestant evangelism in South Africa. I indicate how the Swiss Mission used education to racialise and hierarchise the indigenous people and how, in this process, knowledge and indigenous people were dehumanised. The argument is based on examples drawn from the Swiss Mission's teacher training institution, namely the Lemana Teachers' Training College, near Elim. Based on the paper's critical analysis, I propose how power structures, colonised knowledge systems and beings could be decolonised.

Keywords : Swiss Mission; Lemana; coloniality; decoloniality; mission education; power; knowledge; being.

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