Millennial and Apocalyptic Movements in Africa

Rosalind I. J. Hackett

in The Oxford Handbook of Millennialism

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780195301052
Published online January 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Millennial and Apocalyptic Movements in Africa


This article describes African millennialism, which is a blend of traces of Christianity, Islam, and indigenous religions. Prolonged suppression and suffering under colonial exploitation provided the subjective background to apocalyptic movements. The Xhosa cattle-killing movement and the practice of mumboism in the colonial period and the Satiru rebellion are described in this article. Post-independence, issues of political reorganization and national consolidation grew in importance, and these compiled the grounds for more movements such as The Holy Spirit movement and the Lord's Resistance Army, although the latter spent more time slaughtering civilians than taking stock. The African continent offers a rich tapestry of millennial and apocalyptic movements that go back at least two centuries and still emerge today and will continue to challenge researchers on a number of counts.

Keywords: African millennialism; apocalyptic movements; Xhosa cattle killing movement; Satiru rebellion; mumboism; Holy Spirit movement

Article.  16710 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Religious Studies ; Christianity

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