Empire of the seventh day
Time and the Sabbath beyond the Cape frontiers
in The colonisation of time
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This chapter presents the quest to establish the dominance of the seven-day ritual in the Cape Colony, exploring the significance of its cultural impact and of the ways in which it was received, resisted and reinterpreted by Christian converts. In the Cape during the first half of the nineteenth century, many of the early missions were located well beyond the official limits of the colony, often far from the protection of their government and patrons. The Sabbath allowed missionaries to subvert any competing ritualised activities; for theirs was a mission to enforce a Christian monopoly of time at seven-day intervals. The visible effects of the Sabbath provided missionaries with a tangible means for gauging and conveying the extent of their influence on the lands and its peoples. For missionaries, the extension of the sphere of temporal influence was of great importance and assumed a quasi-military tone in missionary rhetoric.

The colonisation of time

Ritual, routine and resistance in the British Empire


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