THE SHAKER EXPERIENCE IN AMERICA

A HISTORY OF THE UNITED SOCIETY OF BELIEVERS

An unusually comprehensive and eminently readable chronicle of more than two centuries of Shaker life, from its rough beginning in the late 18th century to its diminished yet still significant presence today. In his thoroughness, Stein (Religious Studies/Indiana Univ.) turns first to England, where Ann Lee, founder of the United Society of Believers in Christ's Second Coming, was born and felt the call that would bring her and others to the US in 1774, hoping to find fertile ground where their religion could take root. Establishing a small settlement near Albany as home base, persistent missionary efforts in New England by ``Mother'' Lee and her followers drew considerable notice, much of it unfavorable. Undaunted by the abuse, the Shakers intensified the task of broadcasting the Shaker message after Lee's death in 1784, with communities arising from southern Maine to Indiana during a period of vigorous growth and accomplishment lasting well into the 1820's. Although the Society continued to prosper, retrenchment and losses to apostasy increased in the second half of the century as many found fault with the severe work ethic and celibacy requirement or were lured away for other reasons. Never entirely self-sufficient, Believers put their hands-to-work philosophy to use by making and selling various products—everything from seeds to furniture—but dwindling numbers resulted in ever fewer hands. One by one, groups were consolidated and properties sold, until by 1925 only six sites remained. But with a resurgence of interest in the Society's spiritualism and its products, both an active community and a ``world of Shaker'' remain today—so, Stein says, a future may still exist for them both. Clear and well-researched: an invaluable history for those interested in one of the more fascinating forms of the American religious experience. (Fifty-seven illustrations—not seen.)

Pub Date: June 17, 1992

ISBN: 0-300-05139-5

Page Count: 576

Publisher: Yale Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 1992

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THE WEIGHT OF GLORY

The name of C.S. Lewis will no doubt attract many readers to this volume, for he has won a splendid reputation by his brilliant writing. These sermons, however, are so abstruse, so involved and so dull that few of those who pick up the volume will finish it. There is none of the satire of the Screw Tape Letters, none of the practicality of some of his later radio addresses, none of the directness of some of his earlier theological books.

Pub Date: June 15, 1949

ISBN: 0060653205

Page Count: 212

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 17, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1949

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REFLECTIONS ON THE PSALMS

Internationally renowned because of his earlier books, among them tape Letters, Surprised by Joy, Mere Christianity, C. S. Lewis making religion provoking, memorable and delightful is still more latest Reflections on the Psalms. Though he protests that he writes learned about things in which he is unlearned himself, the reader is likely thank God for his wise ignorance. Here especially he throws a clear lightly or not, on many of the difficult psalms, such as those which abound with and cursing, and a self-centeredness which seems to assume' that God must be side of the psalmist. These things, which make some psalm singers pre not there, have a right and proper place, as Mr. Lewis shows us. They of Psalms more precious still. Many readers owe it to themselves to read flections if only to learn this hard but simple lesson. Urge everyone to book.

Pub Date: June 15, 1958

ISBN: 015676248X

Page Count: 166

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: Oct. 17, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1958

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