Colonialism Vs Nonconformism

1379 Words6 Pages
It sought not only to bring in a set of religion in opposition to indigenous forms of religious life, but also “it sought to bring labor, gender, and sexual relations into conformity with a particular European pattern”. It seems as if, their efforts to change the minds and hearts of natives were not limited to the act of persuasion. Nonconformist Christian missionaries often possessed a sense of moral self-righteousness that led them to act unjustly and make uninformed judgments on the indigenous norms and values of the Tswana people and the southern African region as well. An incredibly important point to note is that the image of missionary Christianity identified itself with colonialism. “Because colonialism was seen as unjust, oppressive…show more content…
To the Protestants, the word of God and nothing else would drive the light into the minds and hearts of what they called the heathens. The evangelists doubled the competence of the Tswana. Essentially, the Tswana language was manipulated and changed. “The Scottish missionary Robert Moffat, for example took the Tswana term for extraordinary power, Modimo, and redefined it as the God of Christianity. At the same time, Moffat took the term for ancestors, badimo, the ancestral spirits who were venerated in traditional ritual, and redefined the term as “demons” within a Christian symbolism of evil. Such translations profoundly altered the religious terms of both indigenous religion and Christianity in Africa”. The Christian mission was transmitted into local African vernacular in a subversive way. They caused confusion, bafflement, and amusement in the Tswana in placing modimo in the skies and badimo underground, concepts that were contradictory in the Tswana tradition. Native signs and language was subverted by the work of the missionaries. The colonization of language became such an important feature in the domination of the Tswana way of life and domination as them as a…show more content…
“These men set out to ‘convert’ heathens by persuading them of the content of their theological message and, even more profoundly, by reconstructing their everyday worlds”. The framing of rational thought, the imposition of market and commercialization, and the subversion of language all contributed to the upheaval of the daily lives of the Tswana people. In targeting the mundane, the everyday, the effects of colonization were felt at the root, at the core of and foundation of belief in southern Africa. The Comaroffs said it best: “The colonization of consciousness, in other words, entailed two levels. At its most tangible, it involved an overt effort to convert the Tswana, an argument of images and messages intended to convince them of the ideological content of Christianity… At a deeper level… they set their sights on the total reformation of the heathen world; i.e. on the inculcation of the hegemonic forms…of the colonizing
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