America's Communal Utopias

America's Communal Utopias

America's Communal Utopias

America's Communal Utopias

Synopsis

"Brings into sharp focus a hitherto ill-mapped stretch of American social-history terrain. "From The Foreword By Paul Boyer

A comprehensive look at the religious and secular movements that produced America's most noted communal utopias

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.

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