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In die Skriflig

versão On-line ISSN 1018-6441

In Skriflig (Online) vol.43 no.3 Cape Town Jan. 2009

 

ORIGINAL RESEARCH

 

The trivial round, the common task: Minutes of the Missionary Board of the Glasgow Missionary Society (1838 - 1843)

 

Die onbeduidende omgang, die algemene taak: Notule van die Missionêre Raad van die Glasgowse Missionêre Genootskap (1838 - 1843)

 

 

J.S. Ross

Department of Church History and Missiology, Dumisani Theological Institute. King william's town. E-mail: johnstuartross@gmail.com

 

 


ABSTRACT

This article seeks to bring to attention a hitherto little-known account of missionary life among the Xhosa people in the Cape Colony during the period 1838-1843 as contained in "The minute book of the Missionary Board of the Glasgow Missionary Society, adhering to the principles of the Church of Scotland, in Caffraria, and in the neighbouring Colony" (MBGMS). The Missionary Board was responsible for providing adequate material infrastructure and logistical support to enable the accomplishment of the aspirations of the Society. The author argues that such mundane work is often neglected in modern missiological historiography, which focuses rather on the more "'spiritual" aspects of mission work. The historiographic approach adopted in this article is that of modern narrative history. By focusing on some of the themes, trends and structures presenting themselves in the record, the MBGMS is permitted to speak for itself with relatively little retrospective interpretation. It is demonstrated that the Board made an important contribution to the achievement of the goals of the Glasgow Missionary Society, as seen in the rise of a Xhosa middle class and the emergence of a significant group of black intellectuals, whose voice and influence are being recovered after years of enforced neglect.


OPSOMMING

Hierdie artikel poog om aandag te gee aan die minder bekende feit van sendingwerk onder die Xhosa's in die Kaapkolonie tydens 1838-1843, soos weergegee in "The minute book of the Missionary Board of the Glasgow Missionary Society: adhering to the principles of the Church of Scotland, in Caffraria, and in the neighbouring Colony". Hierdie Raad (MBGMS) was verantwoordelik vir die verskaffing van voldoende infrastruktuur en logistieke ondersteuning om die doelwitte van die sendinggenootskap te verwesenlik. Die skrywer is van mening dat sulke eenvoudige dienswerk al te maklik in die moderne sendinggeskiedenis afgeskeep word, aangesien daar eerder klem gelê word op meer "geestelike" aktiwiteite. Die historiografie in hierdie artikel neem die vorm aan van moderne verhalende geskiedskrywing. Deur aan sommige temas, tendense en strukture in die MBGBS se notules aandag te skenk, word hierdie rekords self aan die woord gestel sodat daar so min as moontlike retrospektiewe interpretasie plaasvind. Daar word aangetoon dat die Raad 'n belangrike bydrae gelewer het tot die verwesenliking van die Glasgow Missionary Society (GMS) se doelwitte - doelwitte soos die tot standkoming van 'n Xhosamiddelklas en 'n betekenisvolle groep swart intellektuele, wie se stem en invloed geleidelik weer hoorbaar word na jare se gedwonge verwaarlosing.


 

 

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List of references

ANON. 1824. Glasgow missionary society annual report.         [ Links ]

BALKEMA, A.A., OPLAND, J. & NYAMENDE, A., eds. 2008. Isaac Williams Wauchope: selected writings, 1874-1916. Cape Town: Van Riebeeck Society.         [ Links ]

BURLEIGH, J.H.S. 1960. A church history of Scotland. London: Oxford University Press.         [ Links ]

CORY LIBRARY FOR HISTORICAL RESEARCH. s.a. Plans of the ground in the neighbourhood of Block Drift near the Chumie River in British Kaffirland. Grahamstown: Rhodes University. (Ref. M77 / F2.         [ Links ])

CORY LIBRARY FOR HISTORICAL RESEARCH. 1846. Sketch of the lands of the property of the Free Church and Charles Stretch as grant appeared when Caffraria was invaded by British forces on 9th of April 1846. Grahamstown: Rhodes University. (Ref. M77 / F2.         [ Links ])

GLASGOW MISSIONARY SOCIETY. Missionary Board. 1838-1865. The Minute Book of the Missionary Board of the Glasgow Missionary Society, adhering to the principles of the Church of Scotland, in Caffraia, and in the neighbouring Colony: 1838-1865. King William's Town: Amathole Museum.         [ Links ]

GMS see ANON. 1824.

KEBLE, J. 1883. The Christian year: thoughts in verse for the Sundays and holy days throughout the year. London: Rivington.         [ Links ]

MACKAY, S. 1841. Grahams Town journal: CO53/14 National Archives. Kew, London. http://www.genealogyworld.net/settlers/journal_35.html Date of access: 5 Feb. 2009.         [ Links ]

MACLEAN, C. 1866. Compendium of kafir laws and customs. Cape Town: Saul Solomon.         [ Links ]

MAJEKE, N. 1952. The role of the missionaries in conquest. Johannesburg: APDUSA.         [ Links ]

MATTHEWS, Z.K. 1961. Rev. John Knox Bokwe. Imvo Zabantsundu, 5 Aug.         [ Links ]

MBGMS see GLASGOW MISSIONARY SOCIETY

MILTON, J. 1983. The edges of war. Cape Town: Juta.         [ Links ]

NDLETYANA, M. 2008. African intellectuals in 19th and 20th century: South Africa. Cape Town: HSRC.         [ Links ]

OPLAND, J. & NYAMENDE, A., eds. 2008. Isaac Williams Wauchope: selected writings, 1874-1916. Cape Town: Van Riebeeck Society.         [ Links ]

PEIRES, J. 1981. The house of Phalo: a history of the Xhosa people in the days of their independence. Johannesburg: Jonathan Ball.         [ Links ]

SHEPHERD, R.H.W. s.a. The story of a century: 1841-1941. Lovedale: Lovedale Press.         [ Links ]

WILLIAMS, D. 1983. The journal and selected writings of the Reverend Tiyo Soga. Cape Town: Balkema.         [ Links ]

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