Religion and Resistance Politics in South Africa

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This study focuses on Christianity and black nationalism in South Africa and looks at four individuals—Albert Lutuli, Robert Sobukwe, Steve Biko, and Desmond Tutu—to see how each leader's Christian beliefs influenced the political strategy he pursued. Just as theology (Calvinism) was significant in the formulation of Afrikaner nationalism, so too has theology, variously interpreted, been instrumental in the articulation of African nationalism. The African National Congress (ANC), the Pan-Africanist Congress (PAC), the Black Consciousness Movement (BCM), and the United Democratic Front (UDF) all relied on a Christian perspective and vocabulary to articulate the goals of black nationalism. By tracing this religious thread through each of these various resistance movements, the author has made a fascinating contribution to the literature of comparative politics, African studies, and the sociology of religion.

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Editorial Reviews

Graybill (African politics, U. of Virginia) demonstrates the crucial role of religion in the fight against apartheid, which has been ignored or downplayed by nearly all analysts. She examines four individuals--Albert Lutuli of the ANC, Robert Sobukwe of the PAC, Steve Biko of the BCM, and Desmond Tutu of the UDF--during four major episodes of resistance between 1952 and 1983, showing how their various theological views led them to adopt and justify their positions in either the moderate Charterist or the radical Africanist approach to liberation. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780275951412
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 11/30/1995
  • Pages: 168
  • Lexile: 1620L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

LYN S. GRAYBILL currently teaches African Politics in the Department of Government and Foreign Affairs at the University of Virginia.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1
1 Albert Lutuli and the African National Congress 25
2 Robert Sobukwe and the Pan-Africanist Congress 45
3 Steve Biko and the Black Consciousness Movement 75
4 Bishop Desmond Tutu and the United Democratic Front 103
Conclusion 125
Select Bibliography 133
Index 145
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