Of Revelation and Revolution, Vol. 2
In the second of a proposed three-volume study, John and Jean Comaroff continue their exploration of colonial evangelism and modernity in South Africa. Moving beyond the opening moments of the encounter between the British Nonconformist missions and the Southern Tswana peoples, Of Revelation and Revolution, Volume II, explores the complex transactions—both epic and ordinary—among the various dramatis personae along this colonial frontier. It covers a wide spectrum in the theater of colonialism: engagements of theology, salvation, and ritual; over agricultural production and conceptions of nature; around money, cattle, and other currencies; about cloth, clothing, and the human body; over architecture, domesticity and the interiors of everyday life; over health, healing, and medicine; and, finally, over the essence of personhood, identity, rights, and the law. In this fascinating study, the Comaroffs shows how the initiatives of the colonial missions collided with local traditions, giving rise to new cultural practices, new patterns of production and consumption, new senses of style and beauty, and new forms of class distinction and ethnicity.