The Lord God is Like A Cow?...?': Sermons aqnd Reports of African Pastors and Evangelists of the Berlin Mission Church in the Woodbush and Wolkberg Area, Former Northern Transvaal, South Africa, 1920s And 1930s

The Lord God is Like A Cow?...?': Sermons aqnd Reports of African Pastors and Evangelists of the Berlin Mission Church in the Woodbush and Wolkberg Area, Former Northern Transvaal, South Africa, 1920s And 1930s

Author: 
Kriel, Lize
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. 407-433
Abstract: 

This paper introduces three African Lutheran pastors of the Berlin Mission Church who during the late 1920s/early 1930s had worked with German missionary Carl Adolf Hoffmann in the Woodbush-Wolkberg area of the former northern Transvaal (today Limpopo Province, South Africa). Evidence from Philippus Bopape, Josef Mahoro and Moses Rakoma's sermons, annual and quarterly station reports and conversations with Hoffmann are juxtaposed in an attempt to understand why these African Christians and their families opted for a life within the Berlin Mission Church under Hoffmann's close surveillance and almost prying interest in their personal affairs. Having embraced Christianity, these men and their families were attracted to the world of letters. Yet their livelihood was connected to an agrarian economy - hence their notions of belonging entwined with land and family and the metaphor of God as the mother cow. This combination rendered the arrangements they managed to make for themselves within the Berlin Mission Church convenient and fruitful, especially as consolidated in their friendly relations with Carl Hoffmann. It is argued that even as these African Lutheran leaders staged strict Berlin Mission loyalties, they also practised and preached the possibility of more hybrid identities.

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Date created: 
Friday, November 16, 2018