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Coercive Agency: Power and Resistance in Mission Education.

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Any society and its institutions is coercive. While acknowledging the invaluable contribution of mission education to the development of black South Africans, Lovedale Missionary Institution exemplifies the concept of a `total institution` susceptible to the problems of power relations.

Those who studied there internalised its ethos. Coercive agency encouraged adaptation to missionary ideology. However, many Lovedale students rejected the mores of the religion and education they received as they challenged and resisted the effects of the coercive agency of internalisation. Institutionalisation is, by nature, resistant to change as can be seen in the policies of the respective Principals. Consequently, black people were alienated by a process of `exclusion`.

Justice, love and peace are appropriate tools for a new model of education in South African. As past Missionary-in-Charge at Lovedale (an icon of Christian mission education in South Africa), Duncan writes with an insider`s understanding, rare missiological insight, as well as passionate commitment. His book presents an outstanding contribution to social mission history in South Africa. It makes an original and very important contribution to our mission studies in South Africa, and indeed worldwide. Graham Duncan, a minister of the Uniting Presbyterian Church in South Africa, teaches at the University of Pretoria`s Faculty of Theology.

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Graham Duncan