The Missionary and the Rainmaker

David Livingstone, the Bakwena, and the Nature of Medicine

in Social Sciences and Missions
Restricted Access
Get Access to Full Text
Rent on DeepDyve

Have an Access Token?



Enter your access token to activate and access content online.

Please login and go to your personal user account to enter your access token.



Help

Have Institutional Access?



Access content through your institution. Any other coaching guidance?



Connect

The dialogue between the missionary and the rainmaker found in various forms in David Livingstone’s writings needs to be interpreted against the background of Livingstone’s relationship with the Bakwena during the late 1840s, a time of severe drought and one in which chief Sechele’s repudiation of his rainmaking functions after his baptism threatened the displeasure of the ancestors. Livingstone’s recording of the dialogue reveals his indebtedness to the moral philosophy of the Scottish thinker, Thomas Dick, but also suggests that Livingstone remained fascinated by the very African cosmology that his Christian faith and Scottish scientism led him to repudiate.

Social Sciences and Missions

Sciences sociales et missions (Formerly: Le Fait Missionnaire)

Sections

References

5

Ibid, pp. ix, xxii; G.W. Clendennen and I.C. Cunningham (comps.), David Livingstone. A Catalogue of Documents, Edinburgh: National Library of Scotland for the David Livingstone Documentation Project, 1979, p. 272.

6

Schapera (ed.), Livingstone’s Private Journals, p. 239; G.W. Clendennen and I.C. Cunningham (comps.), David Livingstone: A Catalogue of Documents, p. 278. There is a photocopy of the Blantyre notebook in NLS [National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh], MS 10711, fols. 85–88. In this source the dialogue is followed by an undated manuscript version of Livingstone’s oft-quoted sermon on ‘God had an only son and he was sent to earth as a missionary physician’. Livingstone used a similar phrase (about God’s only son) in a letter to his sister dated 5 February 1850, but the sermon may be somewhat later. Clendennen and Cunningham thus estimate the date of the record of the dialogue as 1852, perhaps following the editorial annotation at the opening of the notebook, which estimates the period of the notebook entries as 1850–1852.

8

Schapera (ed.), Livingstone’s Private Journals, p. 239.

10

Livingstone, Missionary Travels and Researches, p. 25.

12

Jean and John Comaroff, Of Revelation and Revolution, pp. 157–158, 207–208.

18

Schapera (ed.), Livingstone’s Private Journals, p. 239.

19

Livingstone, Missionary Travels and Researches, p. 25.

21

Schapera, Rainmaking Rites of Tswana Tribes, pp. 134, 138–139; Janet Wagner Parsons, The Livingstones at Kolobeng 1847–1852, Gaborone: The Botswana Society and Pula Press, 1997, pp. 78, 80, 84.

23

Grove, “Scottish Missionaries”, p. 164.

24

Schapera (ed.), Livingstone’s Private Journals, p. 301; cf. Livingstone, Missionary Travels, p. 20;

25

Schapera (ed.), Livingstone’s Private Journals, p. 300.

26

Ibid., p. 243; MS draft of Missionary Travels and Researches in South Africa, Part I, fol. 43, John Murray archives, NLSMS 42428; Livingstone, Missionary Travels and Researches, p. 19.

27

Schapera (ed.), Livingstone’s Private Journals, p. 300.

28

Schapera (ed.), Livingstone’s Missionary Correspondence, p. 118; Schapera (ed.), Livingstone’s Private Journals, p. 300.

31

Livingstone to Arthur Tidman, 1 November 1848, in Schapera (ed.), Livingstone’s Missionary Correspondence, p. 120.

33

Livingstone to Arthur Tidman, 1 November 1848, in I. Schapera (ed.), Livingstone’s Missionary Correspondence, p. 121.

34

D. Livingstone, Missionary Travels and Researches, p. 23.

36

Schapera (ed.), Livingstone’s Private Journals, pp. xvi–xvii.

37

Jean and John Comaroff, Of Revelation and Revolution, pp. 210–211.

39

I. Schapera (ed.), Livingstone’s Private Journals, pp. 240–241.

40

Ibid, pp. 241–243.

41

Livingstone to Arthur Tidman, 1 November 1848, in I. Schapera (ed.), Livingstone’s Missionary Correspondence, p. 121.

45

On Dick see Hector Macpherson, “Thomas Dick: ‘The Christian Philosopher’”, Records of the Scottish Church History Society Vol. 11, 1955, pp. 41–62; William J. Astore, Observing God. Thomas Dick, Evangelicalism, and Popular Science in Victorian Britain and America, Aldershot: Ashgate, 2001.

46

Livingstone to Thomas Dick, 7 July 1843, NLSMS 20314, ff. 22–23, cited in Astore, Observing God, p. 152.

49

Ibid, p. 112.

50

Ibid, pp. 105–106, 113–117; idem, The Philosophy of Religion. Or, an Illustration of the Moral Laws of the Universe, Glasgow: Chalmers and Collins, 1826, p. 204.

51

Schapera (ed.), Livingstone’s Private Journals, p. 301; Livingstone, Missionary Travels and Researches, p. 23.

53

Dick, Philosophy of Religion, pp. 132–146, quotation at p. 146.

54

Comaroff and Comaroff, Of Revelation and Revolution, pp. 206–207.

58

Comaroff and Comaroff, Of Revelation and Revolution, p. 208.

59

Parsons, The Livingstones at Kolobeng, p. 44.

60

Livingstone, Missionary Travels and Researches, pp. 20–22; Schapera (ed.), Livingstone’s Missionary Correspondence, p. 112.

Information

Content Metrics

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 10 10 4
Full Text Views 1 1 1
PDF Downloads 0 0 0
EPUB Downloads 0 0 0