CONVENING BLACK INTIMACY, Christianity, gender, and tradition in early twentieth-century South Africa

: Erlank (N.)

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272pp., illus., paperback, Johannesburg, 2022


First published in the United States in 2022.

Natasha Erlank on how Christianity reshaped Black South Africans’ ideas about gender, sexuality, marriage, and family during the first half of the twentieth century.

“Filled with memorable characters and riveting narratives, this book admirably captures the tangle of Christianity, gender and tradition. With an astute eye, Natasha Erlank elucidates the fine-grained intricacies of love, courtship, marriage, and sexuality through deeply researched and richly detailed thematic case studies - an essential contribution to feminist histories of Christianity in Africa.” Isabel Hofmeyr, Professor Emerita, University of the Witwatersrand, and Global Distinguished Professor, New York University

“This is a provocative recasting of fundamental topics in southern African historiography: love, marriage, religion, gender. Natasha Erlank argues that the major force restructuring southern Africans‘ intimate lives was Christianity, not migrant labor. A masterful analysis of how religion shaped all aspects of Southern Africans’ public and private lives in the twentieth century.” Joel Cabrita, author of The People’s Zion: Southern Africa, the United States, and a transatlantic faith-healing movement

Natasha Erlank is Professor of History at the University of Johannesburg.