Mission, Science, and Race in South Africa

Mission, Science, and Race in South Africa : A. W. Roberts of Lovedale, 1883-1938

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This book examines the cultures of colonial science, missionary education, and racial politics in South Africa through the life of A. W. Robert, a key participant in all three fields. This study gives insight into the porous nature of categories such as missionary evangelism, research in the physical sciences, and racial politics, which are traditionally segregated from one another in historical discourse.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 206 pages
  • 160 x 234 x 20mm | 440g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 10 black & white halftones, 5 tables
  • 0739196243
  • 9780739196243

About Keith Snedegar

Keith Snedegar is professor of world history at Utah Valley University.show more

Review quote

[T]his painstakingly researched biography makes a valuable contribution to our understanding of an important historical period. Historians of astronomy will especially appreciate Snedegar's summation of Roberts's research methods and his correspondence with other (perhaps less starry-eyed) stargazers. Isis In this biographical study, historian of science Keith Snedegar reassesses a neglected historical figure, the astronomer, missionary educator, and politician Alexander W. Roberts...[T]he text draws on a wide range of published and archival sources housed in the United Kingdom, United States, South Africa, Australia, and the Netherlands...Mission, Science and Race in South Africa is a history of paths not taken in the history of South Africa and the Anglophone Atlantic. It is a unique intellectual history of the emergence of modern South Africa, from the perspective of a man who was ill-suited to participate in its cultural and ideological shifts. African Studies Quarterly Snedegar's study is a tour de force of research into the political and scientific background of the South Africa in which Roberts lived and made his mark. For my own part I found it hard to put down, opening as it did for me many aspects of the scientific and political life that prevailed a century ago. -- Ian S. Glass, South African Astronomical Observatory In this judicious, enlightening, and well-researched book the work of Alexander W. Roberts, amateur Scottish missionary, educationist, astronomer, and 'native expert', is recovered and brought to life; through Roberts, we are launched into the closely intersecting worlds of politics, science, and culture in the formative period of the first 'new' South Africa. -- Saul Dubow, Queen Mary University of London A compelling biography of a complex man in a complex time. With verve and authority, Snedegar recounts A.W. Roberts' life as a missionary teacher and liberal activist in South Africa's racial policies, while also expounding, most accessibly, Roberts' work as a talented but non-professional astronomer. Both as an activist and a scientist Roberts met with grave disappointments. But his long struggles, in Snedegar's able hands, abound with insights into the political and intellectual life of a strife-ridden colony in the declining years of the British Empire. -- Richard Elphick, author of The Equality of Believers: Protestant Missionaries and the Racial Politics of South Africashow more

Table of contents

Table of Contents Acknowledgements List of Abbreviations Chapter 1: At the Crossroads Chapter 2: Not a Mere Professional Chapter 3: In One Sense I Have Entered upon My Life's Purpose Chapter 4: But I Am a Servant and Must Fulfill My Service Chapter 5: I Shall Not Venture upon Politics Chapter 6: A Man is not only Better than a Sheep, He is Better than a Star Chapter 7: The State is a Severe Taskmaster Chapter 8: Memories of an Expatriated Scot Appendix: Robert's Stars Selected Bibliography About the Authorshow more

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