AFRICAN NATIONALISM AND RELIGIOUS INDEPENDENCY IN CAPE COLONY A COMMENT BY CHRISTOPHER SAUNDERS (University of Cape Town) In two recent issues of this journal Wallace G. Mills has discussed the religious component in early African nationalism in South Africa. In his first article he claimed that 'the roots of African political and nationalist movements in the twentieth century can be found in the revivalism which emerged in 1866' in Cape Colony. In the second he asserts the the 'difficult decades' between 1800 and 1910 'saw the emergence of ...religious separatism and African nationalism', but that they were in no way linked; the contention that religious sepa- ratism was 'a precursor of and contributor to African nationalism... is, as far as South Africa is concerned, quite erroneous.' 1 In making this latter assertion, Mills believed himself to be chal- lenging the view that religious separatism was 'the first manifestation of "secondary resistance" at the Cape.' For this view he cites a seminar paper I wrote in i969 in which, wrongly according to Mills, I looked to religious independency for some of the roots of twentieth century African nationalism in South Africa. 2 Aware, however, that most separatist churches have
Journal of Religion in Africa – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1978
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