Die piëtistiese egoprofiel van pioniersvrou Anna Elizabeth Steenkamp (1797-1891) in twee weergawes van haar “Joernaal” uit die Transoranje
Raath, Andries WG
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Religious ego-texts of Cape Trekboers on the frontier reflect prominent traits of mystical Pietism. Similar features can also be detected in the ego-texts of both male and female believers deeper into the interior prior to and during the Great Trek. These pioneer texts reflect religious literary styles similar to the dominant pietistic literature in Germany and in the Netherlands. In addition to the influence of religious literature of German Pietism and devotional literature of Dutch Second Reformation authors, the marginalisation and isolation of believers stimulated pietistic tendencies similar to trends in seventeenth and eighteenth-century Europe. The end of the eighteenth-century witnessed the gradual demise of Pietism in Germany and supplanting of pietistic tendencies by more secular oriented chronicles, autobiographical descriptions and life adventures. In the Netherlands, however, Pietism flourished from the mid-eighteenth century and publications of pietistic ego-texts continued well into the twentieth century. The “Journal” of the Voortrekker woman Anna Steenkamp is a typical example of a family chronicle with descriptions of her life adventures during the Great Trek. Two copies of her “Journal” composed in the Transorange are analysed in order to determine her religious mentality profile as representative of Voortrekker women of the period 1838 to 1854. The first contains an attachment with religious songs and poems of a typical pietistic nature. These reflections mirror religious tendencies on the frontier at a stage when the dominant culture of similar religious texts in the Netherlands had reached its peak. The second copy contains brief reflections on her life on the frontier undergirded by typical pietistic reflections on God’s providential care. This text, composed in the Transorange, reflects a more secular inclined profile undergirded by pietistic elements from an earlier epoch in German autobiographical texts from the seventeenth- and eighteenth-century.