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Orality, Memory & the PastPastoral Care in a Globalised World

Pastor and Politician

This book aims to revive the legacy of John Langalibalele Dube who made a tremendous contribution to the liberation of the African people in South Africa. Dube was a pastor, first President of the African National Congress, a Pan-Africanist, founder of Oh

( Cluster )
R150.00 (including 14 % tax)


R. Simangaliso Kumalo

Essays on the legacy of JL Dube, the first President of the African National Congress

This book aims to revive the legacy of John Langalibalele Dube who made a tremendous contribution to the liberation of the African people in South Africa. Dube was a pastor, first President of the African National Congress, a Pan-Africanist, founder of Ohlange Institution, and a counselor to Zulu kings. In the 21st Century, as Africa seeks to determine its own future, Dube’s legacy offers valuable insights. The book examines issues of self-reliance, good governance, and African identity and – most relevant to leaders in post-apartheid South Africa – reminds us that religion is political and politics can be religious, as revealed by the life of Dube who held the two in a creative tension.

REVIEW

STUDIA HISTORIAE ECCLESIASTICAE

May/Mei 2013   ?   Volume XXXIX   ?   No/Nr 1

Kumalo, R.S. 2012. Pastor and politician: essays on the legacy of JL Dube, the first President of the African National Congress. Pietermaritzburg: Cluster Publications. 288 pages. ISBN 978-1-875053-94-0. Price: R150; $30.

Reviewer: Prof Graham Duncan, Faculty of Theology, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa.

The publication of this book is timely and significant as it offers an important insight into the life and work and witness of the first president of what became the African National Congress (ANC), the Rev J.L. Dube in its centenary year. The author is anxious to establish the validity of a creative synergy and tension between involvement in the church and politics. Dube was a Congregationalist, an independent, and that spirit of independency becomes evident in all aspects of his life, political Christian, community orientation and family. He was a representative person, an African, churchman, politician, educator, journalist and philanthropist. He was also an innovator, the founder of the first self-governing school built by black people for black people – Ohlange Christian Industrial School. 

This book is an important addition to the material we already have available on Dube. What is particularly significant is the combination of primary and secondary sources on Dube’s work. The essays by the author introduce us to Dube and those who were especially important – family, colleagues and associates. An important chapter is devoted to his wife, Nokutela Linderly Dube who is reinstated to African church historiography. Another concern is Dube’s relationship with the American missionaries, William Cullen and Ida Belle Wilcox, and here the author does not disparage, as is common in dealing with mission history, the contribution of the missionaries. The chapter on Ntsikana is perhaps the least persuasive in that Kumalo fails to establish a distinctive causative link between Ntiskana’s and Dube’s spirituality and praxis.

The second part of the book contains a collection of Dube’s papers, speeches and other works on various themes which concerned him and the African people. This is possibly the first time that we are presented with such writings in such a format. There follows a section of photographs, a number of appendices and a bibliography which complement the entire volume. One error of fact is the reference to the “Hymnbook of the Presbyterian Church of Southern Africa” (p 108). The PCSA never had its own hymnbook. The reference is to the hymnbook of the Bantu/Reformed Presbyterian Church (Incwadi yamaculo AmaXhosa, Lovedale: Lovedale Press, 1929).

Notwithstanding my points of critique, this is an important book which deserves to be made widely available in church circles and to be read and studied by all who are interested in the practical results of a life devoted to church and politics. Khumalo clearly establishes the false dichotomy between the two. 









Last Updated: Friday, 18 August 2017 10:44

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