Mohr, “Zionism and Aladura’s shared genealogy”

Mohr, Adam.  2015. Zionism and Aladura’s shared genealogy in John Alexander Dowie.  Religion.  Early online publication.

Abstract: In this article, the author historically describes the process by which Faith Tabernacle Congregation was established by an Evangelist (and later Overseer) in John Alexander Dowie’s Christian Catholic Church in Zion. He then explains the similarity of both churches’ African missions – the Christian Catholic Church in South Africa and Faith Tabernacle in Nigeria. Both American churches, with a distinct genealogical relationship to one another, significantly affected very similar Christian movements, which were the Zionist movement in South Africa and the Aladura movement in Nigeria. Both of these movements are frequently credited with institutionalizing divine healing within African Christianity, and many scholars argue that African Pentecostalism begin within these movements. In the conclusion, the author reflects historiographically on this relationship: the Christian Catholic Church to Faith Tabernacle and particularly Zionism to Aladura. He argues that the historical relatedness between the two churches challenges the generally held notion that healing in African Christianity is only an expression or continuity of a ‘primal African religiosity.’ The Christian Catholic Church in South Africa and Faith Tabernacle in Nigeria did not represent the conjoining of opposing cultural forms, as in discussions of syncretism, but the hybridizing of very similar religious beliefs and practices with respect to disease, health, and healing.