America's Communal Utopias / Edition 1

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Overview

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.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
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

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807846094
  • Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
  • Publication date: 5/26/1997
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 560
  • Sales rank: 1,347,696
  • Product dimensions: 6.23 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 1.35 (d)

Meet 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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Table of Contents

Foreword
Preface
Introduction 3
Communitarian Societies in Colonial America 14
The Shakers of Mother Ann Lee 37
George Rapp's Harmony Society 57
The New Moral World of Robert Owen and New Harmony 88
One Heart and Mind: Communal Life and Values among the Mormons 135
Brook Farm and the Fourierist Phalanxes: Immediatism, Gradualism, and American Utopian Socialism 159
The Community of True Inspiration from Germany to the Amana Colonies 181
Religious Orders and Monastic Communalism in America 204
Free Love and Community: John Humphrey Noyes and the Oneida Perfectionists 253
An American Elysium: The Icarian Communities 279
Eric Jansson and the Bishop Hill Colony 297
Living in the Ark: Four Centuries of Hutterite Faith and Community 319
American Jewish Agricultural Colonies 352
Cyrus Reed Teed and the Koreshan Unity 375
The Theosophical Communities and Their Ideal of Universal Brotherhood 396
California's Socialist Utopias 419
Father Divine and the Peace Mission 432
Appendix America's Communal Utopias Founded by 1965 449
Bibliographical Essay 495
Contributors 507
Index 511
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