“This thoughtful, imaginative intellectual history of South Africa’s black consciousness movement does exactly what the author intended it to do—present a full rather than a solely antiapartheid resistance history of a formative era in the rainbow nation’s emergence from white rule…. A major addition to the revisionary literature on modern South African politics and thought. Highly recommended.”
“A sterling contribution…. Readers are given excellent insights into the organised black politics between the 1960s and 1980s…. This book is a triumph!”
“The Law and the Prophets is intellectual history of the first order. It is a revealing and thought-provoking study of the messiness that attended the evolution of BC, an ideology that sought first to liberate the individual, and then a people, and ultimately, helped transform South African society.”
“The Law and the Prophets is an inspired work of political and intellectual analysis that provides a new baseline for rewriting histories of South Africa’s ever evolving present.”
Social History/Histoire Sociale
“No nation can win a battle without faith,” Steve Biko wrote, and as Daniel R. Magaziner demonstrates in The Law and the Prophets, the combination of ideological and theological exploration proved a potent force.
The 1970s are a decade virtually lost to South African historiography. This span of years bridged the banning and exile of the country’s best-known antiapartheid leaders in the early 1960s and the furious protests that erupted after the Soweto uprisings of June 16, 1976. Scholars thus know that something happened—yet they have only recently begun to explore how and why.
The Law and the Prophets is an intellectual history of the resistance movement between 1968 and 1977; it follows the formation, early trials, and ultimate dissolution of the Black Consciousness movement. It differs from previous antiapartheid historiography, however, in that it focuses more on ideas than on people and organizations. Its singular contribution is an exploration of the theological turn that South African politics took during this time. Magaziner argues that only by understanding how ideas about race, faith, and selfhood developed and were transformed in this period might we begin to understand the dramatic changes that took place.
Daniel Magaziner teaches South African and nineteenth- and twentieth-century African history at Yale University. He is the author of The Law and the Prophets: Black Consciousness in South Africa, 1968–1977. More info →
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Ralph Bunche, who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1950, traveled to South Africa for three months in 1937. His notes, which have been skillfully compiled and annotated by historian Robert R. Edgar, provide unique insights on a segregated society.
The peoples of Namibia have been on the move throughout history. The South Africans in 1915 took over from the Germans in trying to fit Namibia into a colonial landscape. This book is about the clashes and stresses which resulted from the first three decades of South African colonial rule.Namibia under South African Rule is a major contribution to Namibian historiography, exploring, in particular, many new themes in twentieth-century Namibian history.
The devastating influenza epidemic of 1918 ripped through southern Africa. In its aftermath, revivalist and millenarian movements sprouted. Prophets appeared bearing messages of resistance, redemption, and renewal. African Apocalypse: The Story of Nontetha Nkwenkwe, A Twentieth-Century Prophet is the remarkable story of one such prophet, a middle-aged Xhosa woman named Nontetha.
In August 1986, Alice Auma, a young Acholi woman in northern Uganda, proclaiming herself under the orders of a Christian spirit named Lakwena, raised an army called the “Holy Spirit Mobile Forces.” With it she waged a war against perceived evil, not only an external enemy represented by the National Resistance Army of the government, but internal enemies in the form of “impure” soldiers, witches, and sorcerers.
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