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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Max Yergan Encounters South Africa: Theological Perspectives on Race
Author:Anthony, David H.
Periodical:Journal of Religion in Africa
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:Christian theology
biographies (form)
Religion and Witchcraft
History and Exploration
About person:Max Yergan (1892-1975)ISNI
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/pdf/1581546.pdf
Abstract:While scholarship on the missionary encounter with Southern Africa has grown ever more sophisticated over the last decade, with a few exceptions scholars have tended to ignore religious traditions other than those of the 'historic' European churches. This paper sheds light upon one such overlooked tradition, that of the African-American sojourner Max Yergan (1892-1975), who worked in South Africa between 1922 and 1936 under the auspices of the North American YMCA. While he is known generally as a public figure who subsequently exerted influence upon a range of political actors and events in and beyond South Africa, little has been written about a body of texts that help to reveal the evolution of his social thought and practice in South Africa. For nearly fifteen years Yergan left behind a trail of writings (which hitherto have not been explored) in local and overseas publications, together with numerous rich caches of correspondence, and inspired reportage in YMCA, Student Christian Association (SCA), African training school and mission periodicals. Much of this work was religiously inspired, and theological or missiological in content. Representative examples of this oeuvre are deployed in this paper to provide a sense of Yergan's world view, its relationship to his South African mission and his later career outside of it. Attention is also paid to Yergan's transformation from social gospeller to conservative collaborator in apartheid. App., bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]