The Scots Afrikaners

The Scots Afrikaners

Basic information

  • Author(s):
    • Retief Müller
  • Published: November 1, 2021
  • Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
  • Page count: 232
  • ISBN: 9781474462952
  • eBook ISBN: 9781474462983

The Scots Afrikaners

Reveals Scots influence on church and society in South Africa

  • Contributes to academic discourse on the historical relationship between mission, empire and colonialism
  • Sheds light on the relationships between religion, nationalism, and ethnicity
  • Focuses on Scottish–Afrikaner entanglements and tensions over time to create an intermeshed historical narrative of two diverse cultures

Drawing primarily on Dutch and Afrikaans archival sources including the Dutch Reformed Church Archive and private collections this book presents a trans-generational narrative of the influence and role played by diasporic Scots and their descendants in the religious and political lives of Dutch/ Afrikaner people in British colonial southern Africa. It demonstrates how this Scottish religious culture helped to develop a complicated counter-narrative to what would become the mainstream discourse of Afrikaner Christian nationalism in the early 20th century. The reader can expect new perspectives on the ways in which the historical changeover from British Imperial rule to apartheid South Africa was both contradicted, but also in often paradoxical ways facilitated, by the influence and legacies of Scottish religious emissaries.


This book reveals a welcome and lesser known aspect of Dutch Reformed Church history in South Africa, which contributed a significant stimulus to its historical development through Scots missionary and evangelical identity, grounded in a belief in the possibility of redemption which superceded ethnicity as it mutated into a counter-narrative to apartheid.

 Graham A. Duncan, Professor of Church History and Church Polity, University of Pretoria

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