The Dutch Reformed Church and the Protestant Atlantic: Revivalism and Evangelicalism in the Nineteenth-Century Cape Colony

The Dutch Reformed Church and the Protestant Atlantic: Revivalism and Evangelicalism in the Nineteenth-Century Cape Colony

Author: 
Duff, S.E.
Place: 
Oxon
Publisher: 
Taylor and Francis
Date published: 
2018
Record type: 
Journal Title: 
South African Historical Journal
Source: 
South African Historical Journal, Vol. 70, Issue 2, March 2018, pp. 324-347
Abstract: 

This article argues for understanding the nineteenth-century, evangelical DRC as an outward looking church, firmly positioned within the Protestant Atlantic. Not only were DRC ministers and congregations in contact with clergy, missionaries, and converts in Africa, Europe, and North America, but they drew inspiration from events and movements abroad. More specifically, this article focuses on a series of revivals which swept the DRC in 1860, 1874, and 1875, fundamentally transforming Dutch-Afrikaners' religious experience. Although the subject of specifically local forces, this revivalist movement was encouraged by ministers who had witnessed and read about similar revivals abroad. As a result, revivalism offers a way of writing a history of the nineteenth-century DRC which is attentive both to its positions within the Cape Colony as well as the wider Protestant Atlantic. In doing so, this article contributes to a growing body of scholarship which seeks to position Dutch-Afrikaners' social and cultural worlds within wider contexts, working against arguments that the DRC and its members - most of whom were Dutch-Afrikaans - existed in a state of intellectual isolation.

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Date created: 
Friday, November 16, 2018