Finding Shiloh

Dr Philip Lockley

in Visionary Religion and Radicalism in Early Industrial England

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199663873
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191744792 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Theological Monographs

Finding Shiloh

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This chapter considers the process by which the London shoemaker John ‘Zion’ Ward was recognised as the Shiloh for whom many Southcottians were waiting. In examining Ward’s justification of himself as the messiah, and the response of his followers, it explores how the apparent arrival of Shiloh in the late-1820s reshaped some Southcottians’ beliefs about the millennium and the process of its realisation. By being Shiloh, Ward presented a living challenge to believers’ existing conceptions of divine agency and the millennium. As the messiah, he was perceived to be a manifestation of divine intervention in the world, and yet he had arrived, and the millennium apparently had not. In such a state of things, some Southcottians gained a new sense of their potential human contribution to the completion of the divine millennial plan. This chapter offers the most detailed study to date of Ward’s extraordinary early messianic career.

Keywords: exegesis; London; messiah; shiloh; southcottians; zion Ward

Chapter.  8736 words. 

Subjects: Christianity

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