The Old Ship of Zion: The Afro-Baptist Ritual in the African Diaspora by Walter F. Pitts (review)

The Old Ship of Zion: The Afro-Baptist Ritual in the African Diaspora by Walter F. Pitts (Oxford University Press, 1993)

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The Old Ship of Zion: The Afro-Baptist Ritual in the African Diaspora by Walter F. Pitts (review)

by Jerrilyn McGregory
Southern Cultures, Vol. 1, No. 3: Spring 1995

Oxford University Press, 1993

Walter Pitts’s premature death, 20 July 1991, is our true misfortune, for his scholarship can be labeled cutting edge, groundbreaking, and most innovative. The Old Ship of Zion is a significant contribution to the fields of sociolinguistics, ritual anthropology, ethnomusicology, and African American folklore—a cross-cultural investigation that ultimately covering the African diaspora. Pitts’s research offers an undaunted departure from more conventional studies of African American religion because he blazes his own analytical and interpretive trails.