Songs of Zion: The African Methodist Episcopal Church in the United States and South Africa

Songs of Zion: The African Methodist Episcopal Church in the United States and South Africa

by James T. Campbell
     
 

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Songs of Zion focuses on the African Methodist Episcopal Church, black America's oldest and largest independent church. Campbell charts the origins and evolution of African American independent churches, arguing that the very act of becoming Christian forced black Americans to reflect on their relationship to their ancestral continent. The book then turns to South… See more details below

Overview

Songs of Zion focuses on the African Methodist Episcopal Church, black America's oldest and largest independent church. Campbell charts the origins and evolution of African American independent churches, arguing that the very act of becoming Christian forced black Americans to reflect on their relationship to their ancestral continent. The book then turns to South Africa, examining the AME Church's entrance and evolution in a series of specific African contexts. The final third of the book is devoted to what Campbell calls "middle passages," to the careers of men and women who moved between South Africa and the United States in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Throughout the book, Campbell focuses on the comparisons that Africans and African Americans themselves drew between their situations, arguing that the transatlantic encounter enabled both groups to understand and act upon their worlds in new ways.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Campbell's scrupulous scholarship and sensitivity to this trans-Atlantic context along make the book worthwhile. Of special interest to students of African-American history and religion at more advanced levels."—Choice

"Songs of Zion is essential reading for anyone who hopes to understand the character of black people and, by virtue of that, the American spirit as well. Balanced in every respect, rich in research, James Campbell's history of the A.M.E. Church on two continents is a major contribution to the literature of the African diaspora."—Charles Johnson, author of Middle Passage and University of Washington

"Songs of the Zion is the definitive account of the most important institutional connection between African Americans and black South Africans. Using the common experience of African Methodism as a window into black experience in the two countries, Campbell makes a major contribution to comparative studies and to the history of Pan-Africanism."—George Fredrickson, Stanford University

"...[An] invaluable comparative study."—eaching History

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195078923
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
09/28/1995
Pages:
448
Product dimensions:
6.50(w) x 9.56(h) x 1.51(d)
Lexile:
1460L (what's this?)

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
One can only marvel at Campbell's command of both countries' histories.--South African Business Day

Prodigiously researched, well crafted, and insightful.--Journal of American History

Campbell's analysis is illuminating, important and in some ways courageous. . . . [His] innovative treatment of transatlantic connections stands out as a historically grounded approach to the study of . . . the 'Black Atlantic.'--American Historical Review

A must for scholars and students interested in black nationalism, the AME Church, and race relations. Songs of Zion serves as a magnificent blueprint for comparative study on the AME Church in the United States and South Africa.--History: Reviews of New Books

James T. Campbell's Songs of Zion should rank as the most significant work in African-American religious history to appear since Albert Raboteau's 1979 classic Slave Religion.--History Book Reviews On-Line

Essential reading for anyone who hopes to understand the character of black people and, by virtue of that, the American spirit as well. Balanced in every respect, rich in research, James Campbell's history of the AME Church on two continents is a major contribution to the literature of the African diaspora.--Charles Johnson, author of Middle Passage

A major contribution to a genre just beginning to appear, what one can only call transatlantic history. . . . Campbell has produced a sprawling history, impressive not only in its breadth and depth of research, but in the graceful prose and absolute authority it brings to a host of topics. . . . Remarkably free of jargon, political moralizing, and ideological prescriptions, Songs of Zion stands as a major contribution to the emerging history of the Black Atlantic in all its ambiguity and richness.--Transition

A wonderful example of the best of comparative religious history.--Religious Studies Review

The definitive account of the most important institutional connection between African Americans and black South Africans.--George Fredrickson, Stanford University

A sweeping, powerful, vibrant study. . . . By turns, this is a heroic and tragic story--one that will introduce both South African and American historians to dimensions of their histories that they barely know. Campbell's analysis of this complex transatlantic encounter should inspire all those who appreciate the richness of breaking the boundaries of compartmentalized history.--Frederick Jackson Turner Award committee

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