Cover: The People’s Zion: Southern Africa, the United States, and a Transatlantic Faith-Healing Movement, from Harvard University PressCover: The People’s Zion in HARDCOVER

The People’s Zion

Southern Africa, the United States, and a Transatlantic Faith-Healing Movement

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Product Details


$45.00 • £36.95 • €40.50

ISBN 9780674737785

Publication Date: 06/11/2018


368 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

16 halftones, 2 maps

Belknap Press


The People’s Zion is an outstanding book, and the topic it explores—the origins and evolution of so-called ‘Zionist’ churches in South Africa—is important and remarkably under-studied. Original, well researched, conceptually sophisticated, and just very, very smart.—James T. Campbell, Stanford University

Cabrita has produced a meticulously researched and engagingly written piece of scholarship. It is to my knowledge the first work to pull together the entire Zion movement from its origins in mid-nineteenth-century Australia to turn-of-the-twentieth-century America to twentieth- and twenty-first-century southern Africa. The People’s Zion promises not only to be an important contribution to Southern African Studies, but to open up new roads of inquiry for scholars and general readers alike.—Stephen W. Martin, King’s University, Edmonton, Canada

Drawing on archives in South Africa, Swaziland, Sweden, and Illinois, this remarkable book tells an altogether unlikely story. It features an Australian preacher who, in the late nineteenth century, established a Christian utopia in tiny Zion, Illinois, a town which was to be the launching pad for one of southern Africa’s leading Christian movements. The People’s Zion brings to light a whole network of textual, intellectual, and theological exchange that drew American midwesterners into close dialogue with co-travelers in southern Africa. In so doing, Cabrita places African Christians at the center of the history of global Christianity.—Derek Peterson, University of Michigan