Promised lands

Partly a travel memoir, partly the spiritual journey of someone who claims no particular spirituality, and partly a family story of fear and joy, Searching for Zion follows Emily Raboteau’s imaginative religious adventures. She travels to “rabidly Christian” Ghana, where one business advertises itself as “Try Jesus Digital Photo Center,” and visits the smoke-filled dens of Jamaican Rastafarians, where they regard the queen of England as the “Whore of Babylon” foretold in Revelation.

The book is poignant, moving and often hilarious in its bitter honesty. Raboteau builds on centuries of African-American travel narratives and wraps her narrative around global searches for Zion. The result is both jarring and inspiring. Searching for Zion is one of those rare books that shines light not only on a personal exploration of faith but on the wider fabrics of faith in the modern world.


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