A Man Spoke in Joubert Park: The Establishment of a Transnational Religious Movement in South Africa

  • Bjørn Inge Sjødin
Part of the Global Diversities book series (GLODIV)


This chapter will show how Cohen Shaul and his followers reterritorialized the African Hebrew Israelite movement through the use of urban space in Johannesburg to spread the gospel and recruit new members, and how this has created a religious topography for the Israelites in Johannesburg. Furthermore, I will discuss how both sacred and secular contestation and competition with other religious groups, other inhabitants of the city and the Johannesburg municipality concerning some of these spaces led to the group spreading to other sites outside the city. This notion of the city as sinful and morally degenerate contributed to the need for ‘small bits of heaven’ (Vásquez 2008, 170) or spaces where they could feel safe. This led to some Israelites leaving Johannesburg to establish the Selepe Restoration Village in the North West Province a few hours’ drive north of Johannesburg.


Religious Leader African National Congress Religious Movement Public Open Space Main House 
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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bjørn Inge Sjødin
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Social AnthropologyUniversity of OsloOsloNorway

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