DIVIDED BY THE WORD, colonial encounters and the remaking of Zulu and Xhosa identities

: Arndt (J.)

R 350.00
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326pp., map, illus., paperback, First SA Edition, Johannesburg, 2022


First published in the USA in 2022.

"Jochen Arndt’s path-breaking study, Divided by the Word, examines how the South African languages, isiXhosa and isiZulu, have come into being. Meticulously researched and drawing on a rich array of rarely used primary sources, Arndt shows how the boundaries of these languages and ethnic identities were constantly shaped and reshaped over the centuries by a host of actors: European missionaries and mission rivalries, African interpreters and translators, black and white intellectuals, educators, and apartheid ideologues. Clearly written, this book is a must-read for historians and analysts of contemporary South African developments." Robert Edgar, Howard University, author of The Finger of God: Enoch Mgijima, the Israelites, and the Bulhoek Massacre in South Africa

"An ambitious work that makes a bold argument, Divided by the Word is sweeping in both geographic and chronological scope, relevant to today, and approaches this history in an almost entirely unique way. While Arndt’s conclusions will be controversial with some, his mastery of the evidence will be difficult for those most invested in maintaining the border between Zulu and Xhosa to counter." Robert J. Houle, Fairleigh Dickinson University, author of Making African Christianity: Africans reimagining their faith in colonial South Africa

Jochen S. Arndt is Assistant Professor of History at the Virginia Military Institute.