Paris 1505. Tragedy strikes at the rue Daniel bookshop of Arnoul De La Porte. Alone with his little son Paoul, he finds comfort in the writings of Luther and becomes involved in the illegal Reformation Movement. As Huguenot heretics, his descendants must walk a dangerous tightrope of pretence to prevent being executed. Luc is betrayed and escapes to relatives in Flanders with Sibylle, the daughter of his Protestant mentor.
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The war between Israel and the people of Palestine is one of the great tragedies of our time,’ writes Professor Anthony Balcomb, a Senior Research Associate in the School of Religion, Philosophy, and Classics at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Arguably, an even greater tragedy is the inability of many Christians – certainly those who subscribe to the views of Christian Zionism – to see the frequently brutal injustices and human-rights abuses being meted out by ‘God’s chosen people’.
In April 1994, South Africa stepped back from the slough of endemic violence and danced its first bold dance with constitutional democracy. Millions of people entered into a state of euphoric rejoicing. The date marked the end of the apartheid past and the beginning of a brave new future.
Nelson Mandela, first commander of the armed struggle against the apartheid regime in South Africa, buried a gun at his secret hideout shortly before he was betrayed by the CIS and captured by the South African police.
The book, entitled Black Sacrifice: The Sinking of the SS Mendi, was written by Rev Dr Gladstone Sandi Baai before his death and was completed posthumously by his daughter, Gandhi Baai. He is the only African historian to have written an
interpretation of the sinking of the SS Mendi. In it, he discusses the event in terms of "black sacrifice", starting before the First World War and ending post-apartheid with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
“Our people have been oppressed enough. It’s time somebody comes forward and speaks about police brutality. There are hundreds of policemen like me who see their credibility in the communities they serve undermined by the actions of riot police. But they are scared to talk because regulations bind them. I’m not willing for the regulation to bind me any further. I’m defying them,” - Lieutenant Gregory Rockman, speaking to Gaye Davis of the Weekly Mail, September 1989.
The story of POPCRU (the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union) is embedded in the story of South Africa’s bloody journey to democracy.
The William Humphreys Art Gallery (WHAG) in Kimberley is South Africa’s smallest nationally funded gallery. It is also the country’s most dynamic and innovative in terms of its response to the changing socio-political terrain in which it has operated during its 60-year life. From its origins as a typical colonial repository of imported culture, WHAG now holds one of the finest collections of the diverse streams of South African art. It also runs unique projects which have transformed the gallery from an isolated cultural enclave into the nerve centre for thriving outreach in the most desolate and marginalised – and starkly beautiful – region of the country’s hinterland.
Private Excavations is superb travel writing with a profoundly important purpose. It is also a very necessary book for our rapidly polarising global village.
A journey through snow-clad northern Europe uncovers the fateful impact of a ‘one-truth’ vision of the world. By using as a platform important Scandinavians (writer August Strindberg and Advard Munch) the author explores absolutist thinking in its various religious and political guises. His fluid style blends evocative description with philosophy and history (especially art history) and persuades the reader towards a more humane understanding of existence. The extremists deny this point of view, content instead to seek salvation from an unacceptable world via their one-truth dogmas.
The small Island of St Helena, flung away in mid-South Atlantic Ocean, is one of the most remote inhabited islands in the world – its loneliness breeding a phlegmatic populace as famous for friendliness as the island itself is known for stunning scenery and a captivating history.
Small wonder, then, that the author – in love with St Helena from an early age – resolved to buy a second family home there in 1999, and found herself living there for nearly ten years while her family “commuted” back and forth from Cape Town on the RMS St Helena - the only ship that serves the island.
This book charts a remarkable woman’s engagement with deep rural communities in South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal province – and in particular with the high numbers of brain-damaged children left stranded in huts all over the foothills of the great Drakensberg Mountains.
Africa has had a lot written about it: from its history to politics and economics, and often these have looked at the negative aspects of this great continent. Often too, they offer prescriptive solutions to our problems without clear in-depth appraisal of the roots of such problems. This book however offers in-depth symptomatic solutions based on past historical occurrences. It delves into Pan-African ideologies and philosophies of our great African Leaders who set the template for freedom, independence and progress that we enjoy today and even looks at the darker era of militarism, coups, liberation struggles and dictatorships, providing convincing insights as to why these became the bane of Africa.