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Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae

versão On-line ISSN 2412-4265

Studia Hist. Ecc. vol.36 no.1 Pretoria Mai. 2010

 

Abandoned ideals of brotherhood? A masculinity perspective on the relationship between 19th century Norwegian missionaries and Zulu pastors

 

 

Kristin Fjelde Tjelle

School of Mission and Theology University of Stavanger Norway

 

 


ABSTRACT

The Lutheran Norwegian Missionary Society (NMS) sent in 1844 its first missionaries to the Zulus. The NMS' goal was to establish native churches which become self-supporting, self-governing and self-propagating. This "three-self" formula was to be accomplished by winning individual souls to Christianity, organising them into churches and providing them with trained, indigenous ministry. Baleni kaNdlela Mthimkhulu was the first Zulu pastor to be ordained in NMS in 1893. The paper asks why it took so long for NMS missionaries to fulfil their original objective of recruiting, educating and ordaining indigenous church personnel. Furthermore, why were the Zulu pastors after ordination still treated as the missionaries' subordinates? The questions are discussed from a masculinity perspective. The paper argues that internal church relations between these groups of men were influenced by external political and societal power relations where white masculinity had hegemony. The Norwegian missionaries' ambivalent understanding of the Zulu man reflected common colonial discourses, where Zulu men on one hand were portrayed as physical strong and well-gifted men with rich potential, on the other hand as unstable, emotional and childish men.


 

 

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1 Henry Venn (1796-1873) and Rufus Anderson (1796-1880) arrived at their ideas separately, in spite of the outstanding similarities in the basic outline of the three-self theory. From mid- to late nineteenth century the "three-self'-program were the stated policy of both British and American Protestant missions. See C. Peter Williams, The ideal of the self-governing church: a study in Victorian missionary strategy (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1990);         [ Links ] Paul William Harris, Nothing but Christ. Rufus Anderson and the ideology of Protestant Foreign Missions (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999).         [ Links ]
2 Cited in Torstein Jörgensen, Contact and Conflict: Norwegian Missionaries, the Zulu Kingdom, and the Gospel: 1850-1873 (Oslo: Solum, 1990), 218.         [ Links ] Jörgensen's translation.
3 Olav Guttorm Myklebust, "Sör-Afrika," in Det Norske Misjonsselskap 1842-1942, ed. John Nome (Stavanger: Dreyer, 1949), 114.
4 In June 2008 the 150th anniversary of this first baptism in the history of NMS was celebrated at the present head office in Stavanger.
5Norsk Missionstidende (NMT) 48, no. 16 (1893), 309-311.
6 Norman Etherington, Preachers, peasants and politics in Southeast Africa, 1835-1880. African Christian communities in Natal, Pondoland and Zululand (London: Royal Historical Society, 1978), 145-175;         [ Links ] Philippe Denis, ed., The making of an indigenous clergy in Southern Africa. Proceedings of the International Conference held at the University of Natal, Pietermaritzburg, 25-27 October 1994 (Pietermaritzburg: Cluster Publications, 1995);         [ Links ] Philippe Denis, ed., Orality, Memory and the past: listening to the voices of black clergy under colonialism and apartheid. Papers read at the International Conference held at the University of Natal, Pietermaritzburg on 30 June-3 July 1999 (Pietermaritzburg: Cluster Publications, 2000).         [ Links ]
7 Richard Elphick, "Evangelical Missions and Racial 'Equalization'," in Converting colonialism: visions and realities in mission history, 1706-1914, ed. Dana L. Robert (Grand Rapids/Cambridge: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2008), 112-133.         [ Links ]
8 Ibid., 130. Elphick bases his calculation on the statistics of the 1911 World Atlas of Christian Missions.
9 Ibid. See also Bengt Sundkler, Bantu prophets in South Africa (London: Lutterworth Press, 1948);         [ Links ] Bengt Sundkler, Zulu Zion and some Swazi Zionists (London: Oxford University Press, 1976);         [ Links ] Erhard Kamphausen, "Unknown heroes: the founding fathers of the Ethiopian Movement in South Afrika," in Philippe Denis, ed., The making of an indigenous clergy in Southern Africa, 83-100; Simon Moripe, "Indigenous clergy in the Zion Christian Church," in Ibid., 102-107.
10 Robert William Connell, Gender and power: society, the person and sexual politics (Cambridge: Polity Press, 1987);         [ Links ] Robert William Connell, Masculinities (Cambridge: Polity Press, 1995).         [ Links ]
11 Robert Morrell, Changing men in Southern Africa (Pietermaritzburg: University of Natal Press, 2001), 6.         [ Links ]
12 Belinda Bozzoli, "Marxism, feminism and South African Studies," Journal of Southern African Studies 9, no. 2 (1983), 139-171         [ Links ]
13 Cherryl Walker, "Women and gender in southern Africa to 1945: An overview," in Women and gender in Southern Africa to 1945, ed. Cherryl Walker (Cape Town/London: David Philip/James Currey, 1990), 1-32.         [ Links ]
14 Robert Morrell, "Of boys and men: masculinity and gender in Southern African Studies" Journal of Southern African Studies 24, no. 4 (1998): 605-630.         [ Links ]
15 Hanna Mellemsether, "Misjon
œrer, settlersamfunn og afrikansk opposisjon. Striden om selvstendiggj0ring i den norske Zulukirken, S0r-Afrika ca. 1920-1930", dissertation for the degree of Dr. Art., University of Trondheim, 2001.
16 Bengt Sundkler and Christopher Steed, A history of the church in Africa (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000), 620.         [ Links ]
17 Mrinalini Sinha, Colonial masculinity: the 'manly Englishman' and the 'effeminate Bengali' in the late nineteenth century (Manchester and New York: Manchester University Press, 1995).         [ Links ]
18 Ibid., 7.
19 Edward W. Said, Orientalism (N.Y.: Pantheon Books, 1978).         [ Links ]
20 Halfdan E. Sommerfelt, Den Norske Zulumission. Et Tilbageblik paa de f0rste 20 Aar af det Norske Missionsselskabs Virksomhed (Christiania: Wm. Gram, 1865).
21 Sommerfelt refers to Henry H. Methuens' Life in the wilderness or wanderings in South Africa from 1846, Robert Moffat's Missionary labours and scenes in Southern Africa from 1842 and Captein William Ross King's Campaining in Kaffirland or scenes and adventures of the Kaffir War of 1851-2 from 1853. He also refers to the German missionary Karl Wilhelm Posselt's articles in Berliner Missionsbericht.
22 Ole Stavem, Et bantufolk og kristendommen: Det norske missionsselskaps syttiaarige zulumission (Stavanger: Det norske missionsselskaps forlag, 1915); Myklebust, "Sör-Afrika".
23 Hans Kristian Leisegang, Vor Zulumission (Stavanger: Det Norske Missionsselskaps forlag, 1921); Misjonsalbum. Syd-afrika. 109 billeder og et kart fra Det Norske Misjonsselskaps arbeidsmark i Zulu og Natal, (Stavanger: Det Norske Misjonsselskaps forlag, 1928); Johan Kjelvei, ed., Zulu. Evangeliets landvinning (Stavanger: Det Norske Misjonsselskaps trykkeri, 1932).
24 Myklebust, "Sör-Afrika," 17: "Som afrikaner er zulueren pá mange máter européerens motsetning. Han er verken viljens eller tankens mann."
25 Stavem, Et bantufolk og kristendommen: Det norske missionsselskaps syttiaarige zulumission , s. 42: "Zuluerne var krigere og foragtet alt arbeide."
26 Kjelvei, ed., Zulu. Evangeliets landvinning , 43: "Mot og manndighet er egenskaper som de mest beundrer".
27 Hanna Mellemsether, "African women in the Norwegian Mission in South Africa," in Gender, race and religion: Nordic missions 1860-1940, ed. Inger Marie Okkenhaug (Uppsala: Swedish Institute of Missionary Research, 2003).
28 Deborah Gaitskell, "Devout domesticity? A century of African women's Christianity in South Africa," in Women and gender in Southern Africa to 1945, ed. Cherryl Walker (Cape Town/London: David Philip/James Currey, 1990), 251-272; Heather Hughes, "'A lighthouse for African womanhood': Inanda Seminary, 1869-1945," in Ibid., 197-220; Sheila Meintjes, "Family and gender in the Christian community at Edendale, Natal, in colonial times," in Ibid., 125-145.
29 See for instance Kumari Jayawardena, The white woman's other burden: Western women and South Asia during British Colonial rule (New York: Routledge, 1995); Susan Thorne, "Mission-imperial feminism," in Gendered missions: women and men in missionary discourse and practice, ed. Mary Taylor Huber and Nancy Lutkehaus (Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 1999), 39-65.
30 Andrew Burgess, Zulufolket. Evangeliet blant zuluerne (Oslo: Schreudermisjonens forlag, 1944), 43.         [ Links ]
31 Sommerfelt, Den Norske Zulumission. Et Tilbageblikpaa de f0rste 20 Aar af det Norske Missionsselskabs Virksomhed, 72: "Hvad enten man ser til de smaa dorske, gulbrune Hottentotter i Kapkolonien eller til de dvergagtige, dyriske Buskm
œnd oppe ved Snebjergene eller til Betsjuaner og Negre i det Indre, - saa maa de alle staa mer eller mindre langt tilbage for det höje, vakre og virkelig stoute Kafferfolk med den aabne, mandige Holdning og frie, dristige Gang".
32 Sommerfelt claimed that Zululand was the healthiest region of the world, and that western physicians who tried to establish an enterprise in Zululand became jobless and either had to return or make a living out of farming. Ibid., 69.
33 Myklebust, "Sör-Afrika," 17: "Zuluerne er en stolt slekt. Men de eier ogsá evner og muligheter som fá afrikanske folk. Ikke bare fysisk, men ogsá psykisk og kulturelt raker de höyt".
34 Homi K. Bhabha, "The other question: the stereotype and colonial discourse," Screen 24, no. 4 (1983): 18-36.
35 Sommerfelt, Den Norske Zulumission. Et Tilbageblik paa de f0rste 20 Aar af det Norske Missionsselskabs Virksomhed , 74-75; NMT 39, no. 21 (1884), 405-406; Misjonsalbum. Syd-afrika. 109 billeder og et kart fra Det Norske Misjonsselskaps arbeidsmark i Zulu og Natal, 7, 9; Kjelvei, ed., Zulu. Evangeliets landvinning, 14; Myklebust, "Sör-Afrika,"17.
36 South African historians are currently reinvestigating the historical truth of Shaka and his so called "devastations". See Carolyn Hamilton, Terrific majesty. the powers of Shaka Zulu and the limits of historical invention (Cape Town, Johannesburg: David Philip Publishers, 1998): John Wright, "Revisiting the stereotype of Shaka's 'Devastations'," in Zulu identities: being Zulu, past and present, ed. Benedict Carton, John Laband, and Jabulani Sithole (Scottsville: University of KwaZulu-Natal Press, 2008), 69-81.
37 Sommerfelt, Den Norske Zulumission. Et Tilbageblik paa de f0rste 20 Aar af det Norske Missionsselskabs Virksomhed, 63: "Det tyranniske Uhyre".
38 John Laband, "'Bloodstained Grandeur'. Colonial and imperial stereotypes of Zulu Warriors and Zulu warfare," in Zulu identities: being Zulu, past and present, ed. Benedict Carton, John Laband, and Jabulani Sithole (Scottsville: University of KwaZulu-Natal Press, 2008), 168.
39 Ole Stavem, "Zulufolket, dets Stammesl
œgtskab og dets Nationalkarakter", in NMT 41, no. 11 (1886), 212-217 & no. 12, 232-240.
40 Myklebust, "Sör-Afrika," 17-19.
41 David Tjeder, The power of character: middle-class masculinities, 1800-1900 (Department of History, Stockholm University, 2003), 39-44. Tjeder's based his assertions on analysis of 250 Swedish moral advice manuals intended largely for a middle-class audience, and also autobiographies written by 76 Swedish men born in the period between 1783 and 1884. He further referred to influential works by historians who have examined the evolvement of modern, western masculinities, like E. Anthony Rotundo, American manhood: transformations in masculinity from the revolution to the modern era (New York: Basic Books, 1993); Michael S. Kimmel, Manhood in America: a cultural history (New York: Free Press, 1996);         [ Links ] George L. Mosse, The image of man: the creation of modern masculinity (New York: Oxford University Press, 1996).         [ Links ]
42 Morrell, "Of boys and men: masculinity and gender in Southern African Studies ", 616.
43 See 13 letters from "famous men" in Durban regarding Christian Zulu men in MA-MHS, HA/G.sekr.92/Box 182, Jacket 19. See also NMS' 53rd annual report, Stavanger 1895, 59-62; NMT 50, no. 21 (1895): 417-424.
44 Statement from the discussion at NMS' Missionary Conference (MC) in South Africa 1903: Mission Archives (MA), School of Mission and Theology (MHS), HA/G.sekr.40/Box 42, Jacket 15: "Vi maa huske paa, at han fremdeles er en kaffer, selv om han har faaet krave om halsen".
45NMT 14, no. 11 (1859): 186-188. Udland reported that one infant and six adults were baptised. The adults' new Christian names were "Utomase, Usimone, Ukosi, Uvelemu, Uhendreke and Unokutemba".
46 Prince Bongani kaShelemba Zulu, "The Ministry of the black people in the Lutheran Norwegian Mission Stations in Zululand and Natal from 1875 to 1963", unpublished conference paper, University of Stellenbosch, June 2009.
47NMT 30, no. 6 (1875): 207-210.
48 Ibid., no. 7: 241-242.
49 Hans Christian M.G. Leisegang returned in 1875 to South Africa after a furlough in Norway. He sent an application to the Home Board where he asked for permission to establish a new station in the area where Simon was preaching, see NMT 30, no. 11 (1875): 421-422. Ole S. Steenberg asked the missionary conference in 1875 for a replacement from his work as schoolteacher at Umphumulo mission station to the position as evangelist among "Untimone's and Umkonto's people" some kilometres east of Umphumulo, ibid. 444. The mentioned chiefs are probably Umthimuni kaMudli Zulu and Mkhonto Ntuli, see Zulu, "The Ministry of the Black People in the Lutheran Norwegian Mission stations in Zululand and Natal from 1875 to 1963".
50NMT 34, no. 7 (1879): 142-143.
51 Hans CMG. Leisegang in NMT 36, no. 10 (1881): 187-189; Petter Gottfrid Nilsen, ibid., 189-192.
52NMT 42, no. 14 (1887): 272: "Det er m
œrkeligt, hvor let disse Lœrere har for at tale. Det gaar som en Str0m fra Begyndelsen til Enden. Indholdet er ogsaa oftest bedre, and man kunde vente. Isœr for Sproget har jeg havt megen Nytte af at hore paa dem".
53 Mission statistics were presented in the superintendent's annual report which was published every year as a section of NMS' official annual report. In the case of South Africa, the quality of the statistics improved considerable after Ole Stavern took over as superintendent in 1888.
54 11 stations in 1885. In 1890 NMS established a station in Durban, and in 1915 Kangelani mission station was established.
55 Myklebust, "S0r-Afrika," 32.
56 Ibid., 132.
57 Peggy Brock, "New Christians as Evangelists," in Missions and Empire, ed. Norman Etherington (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005), 132-152.         [ Links ]
58 Myklebust, "S0r-Afrika", 108-109. NMS gave priority to the successful field of Madagascar, and from 1901 China became a new and promising mission field for NMS.
59 For a general overview of mission societies' education of indigenous clergy in Protestant South Africa, see Joan Millard, "Educating indigenous clergy in Some South African Protestant Churches during the nineteenth century," in Philippe Denis, ed., The making of an indigenous clergy in Southern Africa, 58-68.
60 MA-MHS, HA/G.sekr.40/Box 34, Jacket 21: Minutes from MC 1881.
61 MA-MHS, HA/G.sekr.90/Box 136, Jacket 3: Ole Stavem's report from the Catechist School in a letter of 30.09.1884..
62 MA-MHS, HA/G.sekr.40/Box 35, Jacket 8: Minutes from MC 1884.
63 Ingolf Edward Hodne, Missionary enterprise in African education: the co-operating Lutheran Missions in Natal, South Africa, 1912-1955 (Stavanger: Misjonsh0gskolens forlag, 1997).
64 MA-MHS, HA/G.sekr.40/Box 43, Jacket 11: Minutes from MC 1905. See also MA-MHS, HA/G.sekr.91/Box 171, Jacket 2: Letter from NMS' Home Board to the missionaries in Natal and Zululand of 6.11.1905.
65 Herman Schlyter, The history of the co-operating Lutheran Missions in Natal 1912-1951 (Morleigh; Durban: Lutheran Publishing House, 1953).         [ Links ]
66 Mellemsether, "Misjon
œrer, settlersamfunn og afrikansk opposisjon. Striden om selvstendiggjöring i den norske Zulukirken, Sör-Afrika ca. 1920-1930" , 63-65.
67 Norman Etherington, Preachers, peasants and politics in Southeast Africa, 1835-1880, 25, 28. Lars Berge found the same to be true in the case of the first black pastor in Church of Sweden Mission (CMS); Josef kaMataka Zulu. Zulu was ordained in Uppsala, Sweden, in 1901, after a Home Board resolution. See Lars Berge, The Bambatha Watershed. Swedish Missionaries, African Christians and an evolving Zulu Church in rural Natal and Zululand 1902-1910, (Uppsala: Swedish Institute of Missionary Research, 2000), 260-263.
68 MA-MHS, HA/G.sekr.40/Box 35, Jacket 8: Minutes from MC 1884.
69 Ole Gjerlöw, Beretning vedkommende Sekret
œrens Reise til Missionsmarken i Zululand og Natal 1887-88 (Stavanger: Norwegian Missionary Society, 1888), 48.
70 MA-MHS, HA/G.sekr.40/Box 36, Jacket 11: Minutes from MC 1889.
71 MA-MHS, HA/G.sekr.40/Box 36, Jacket 15: Minutes from MC 1890.
72 MS-MHS, HA/G.sekr.40/Box 37, Jacket 6: The superintendent's annual report of 1890.
73 MA-MHS, HA/G.sekr.40/Box 37, Jacket 5: Minutes from the Missionary Conference in 1891.
74 MA-MHS, HA/G.sekr.40/Box 37, Jacket 14: Minutes from the Missionary Conference in 1892.
75 By the mid 1870s Anglican Missionaries paid their evangelists £2 per month, and a salary of £50 per annum was thought sufficient for an ordained priest. The highest salary paid to any African by Christian missionaries in the 1870s was £75 per annum. Etherington, Preachers, peasants and politics in Southeast Africa, 1835-1880. African Christian communities in Natal, Pondoland and Zululand, 148.
76 NMS' 52nd annual report, Stavanger 1894, 53-72.
77 MA-MHS, HA/G.sekr.40/Box 42, Jacket 15: Minutes from the MC 1903.
78 It is not reported in the superintendent's annual report from 1903, neither in Lars Dahles's official report from his inspection trip, see Lars Dahle, Inspektionsreisen til Zulu og Madagaskar i 1903. Indberettning til Generalforsamlingen i Bergen 1904 (Stavanger: Det norske Missionsselskabs Forlag, 1904).
79 Shula Marks, Reluctant Rebellion. The 1906-8 Distrubances in Natal, (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1970), 51-82.
80 Ibid., 80-81; Clement Tsheloane Keto, "Race relations, land and the changing missionary role in South Africa: a case study of the American Zulu Mission 1850-1910," in International Journal ofAfrican Historical Studies 10, no. 4: 613-614.
81 MA-MHS, HA/G.sekr.40/Box 42, Jacket 7: Minutes from the Missionary Conference in 1902.
82 This is confirmed in a conference paper by Zulu, "The Ministry of the black people in the Lutheran Norwegian Mission Stations in Zululand and Natal from 1875 to 1963." Zulu explains that Simon Ndlela as a farmer was hit by the 1890ss severe agrarian crisis, like droughts, infestation of locusts and the rinderpest.
83 MA-MHS, HA/G.sekr.40/Box 42, Jacket 7: Minutes from the Missionary Conference in 1902: "Han kan v
œre kristen god nok, men derfor er han ikke skikket til at udföre alt, hvad en missioneer kan udföre".
84 MA-MHS, HA/G.sekr.40/Box 42, Jacket 15: Minutes from the Missionary Conference in 1903.
85 Rödseth does not mention the newspapers' name, but John Langalibalele Dube established the first Zulu/English newspaper Ilanga lase Natal in 1903.
86 MA-MHS, HA/G.sekr.40/Box 42, Jacket 15: Minutes from MC 1903: "Simon maatte, efter hvad der var sagt ham af Gundersen, faa indtryk af at han var som en af os. Jeg vil hermed ikke have rettet nogen bebreidelse mod Gundersen; thi dette var et udtryk for den opinion som den gang var raadende blandt mission
œrerne".
87 Karina Hestad Skeie found in her study of NMS missionaries in Madagascar 1866-1903, that Lars Dahle on the inspection trip in 1903 cancelled the internal processes of self-government in the Malagasy Lutheran Church, which in this case was encouraged by the missionaries. According to Skeie, Dahle's intervention in 1903 at one and the same time marked the end of what she calls "the Malagasy era" in NMS mission, and the beginning of a new "colonial era". See Karina Hestad Skeie, "Building God's Kingdom in Highland Madagascar.. Norwegian Lutheran missionaries in Vakinankaratra and Betsileo 1866-1903", dissertation for the degree of Dr. Art., University of Oslo, 2005, 273-313.
88 MA-MHS, HA/G.sekr.40/Box 43, Jacket 7: Minutes from MC 1904.
89 MA-MHS, HA/G.sekr.40/Box 43, Jacket 11: Minutes from MC 1905.
90 MA-MHS, HA/G.sekr.91/Box 171, Jacket 2: Letter from NMS' Home Board of 6.11.1905.
91 Ole Stavem, The Norwegian Missionary Society: a short review of its work among the Zulus (Stavanger: The Norwegian Missionary Society, 1918), 60.
92 Zulu, "The Ministry of the Black People in the Lutheran Norwegian Mission Stations in Zululand and Natal from 1875 to 1963".
93 Torstein J0rgensen, "Zibokjana Ka Gudu Moses. Student fra Zululand ved Misjonsh0gskolen 1866-69," in Nordmenn i Afrika - Afrikanere i Norge, ed. Anne K. Bang and Kirsten Alsaker Kjerland (Bergen: Vigmostad & Bj0rke AS, 2002), 221-229.
94NMT 15, no. 2 (1860): 50-51.
95 Paul La Hausse de Lalouvière, Restless identities: signatures of nationalism, Zulu ethnicity and history in the lives of Petros Lamula (c.1881-1948) and Lymon Maling (1889-c.1936) (Pietermaritzburg: University of Natal Press, 2000).         [ Links ]
96 Minutes from MC 1927, MA-MHS, p. 67.

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