Afrikaner Identity and Responses to Mormon Missions in South Africa, 1853-1965
Pretoria, South Africa
University of Pretoria
This dissertation explores the utility of employing Afrikaner concepts of the biblical covenant between God and His people as a paradigm for understanding Afrikaner history in the Cape Colony, especially in relation to the Afrikaners' reaction to Mormon proselytising in the mid-nineteenth century. Mormon efforts in the Cape during this period were concentrated on people with European ancestry and were disproportionately more successful among English speakers than the Colony‘s Dutch/Afrikaners. Beginning with a discussion of competing theories of Afrikaner history in chapter 1, the study moves into a review of Afrikaner history from pre-Reformation Europe until the time under consideration in chapter 2. Special attention is given to the origins of covenant theology and its applications in Reformed Zurich and Geneva and also in the South African context. Chapters 3 and 4 explore the covenant milieu of the 1850s and 1860s, when Mormon missionaries were active in the Cape Colony, and the Afrikaner response to Mormon proselytising. Afrikaner reactions to Mormon proselytising are found to be in harmony with a covenant paradigm on the part of the Afrikaners.