Written by Donald E. Pitzer
Release date: May 12, 1997 | ISBN-10: 0807846090 | ISBN-13: 978-0807846094 | Edition: First Edition
From the Shakers to the Branch Davidians, America's communal utopians have captured the popular imagination. Seventeen original essays here demonstrate the relevance of such groups to the mainstream of American social, religious, and economic life. The contributors examine the beliefs and practices of the most prominent utopian communities founded before 1965, including the long-overlooked Catholic monastic communities and Jewish agricultural colonies. Also featured are the Ephrata Baptists, Moravians, Shakers, Harmonists, Hutterites, Inspirationists of Amana, Mormons, Owenites, Fourierists, Icarians, Janssonists, Theosophists, Cyrus Teed's Koreshans, and Father Divine's Peace Mission.
Based on a new conceptual framework known as developmental communalism, the book examines these utopian movements throughout the course of their development—before, during, and after their communal period. Each chapter includes a brief chronology, giving basic information about the group discussed. An appendix presents the most complete list of American utopian communities ever published.
The contributors are Jonathan G. Andelson, Karl J. R. Arndt, Pearl W. Bartelt, Priscilla J. Brewer, Donald F. Durnbaugh, Lawrence Foster, Carl J. Guarneri, Robert V. Hine, Gertrude E. Huntington, James E. Landing, Dean L. May, Lawrence J. McCrank, J. Gordon Melton, Donald E. Pitzer, Robert P. Sutton, Jon Wagner, and Robert S. Weisbrot.
No other book like it exists.
Journal of Religious History
The essays are very well written, readable, and colourful contributions to the story of American religion.
Journal of Contemporary Religion
Both specialists and the uninitiated will profit from this collection.
Indiana Magazine of History
A unique and most important contribution to modern literature about the American historical communes.
Bulletin of the International Communal Studies Association
Scholars and the larger public alike will be absorbed by this book for decades to come.
Timothy Miller, University of Kansas
About the Author
Donald E. Pitzer, professor of history and director of the Center for Communal Studies at the University of Southern Indiana, is a founder and former executive director of the Communal Studies Association.
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