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Chosen PeopleThe Rise of American Black Israelite Religions$
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Jacob S. Dorman

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780195301403

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195301403.001.0001

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Introduction

Introduction

Chapter:
(p.2) (p.3) Introduction
Source:
Chosen People
Author(s):

Jacob S. Dorman

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195301403.003.0001

This introductory chapter first sets out the book's primary focus—how English-speaking peoples in general, and more specifically Black West Indians and African Americans, have mobilized the narratives of the Hebrew Bible in a succession of movements that claim descent from the ancient Israelites, beginning in the 1890s. Most of these movements can be called “religious,” but they are not simply about beliefs, discourses, rituals, practices, or the divine, as if divinity was ever simple; they are also about history, group belonging, and plans for migration, exodus, and this-worldly liberation. The discussion then turns to the meaning of the term “Black Israelite”and the history of Black Israelite movements. An overview of the subsequent chapters is also presented.

Keywords:   Black West Indians, African Americans, Hebrew Bible, religious movements, Israelites

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