Abstract

The claims of Ann Lee and the Shakers that Christ had returned as a female bred both opposition and obedience in the early American republic. From 1780 onward, new converts accepted the claims of incarnation and took their places in the hierarchical church of the Shakers while opponents derided the Shakers as dangerous and possibly subversive. The return of Christ as a female, therefore, raised more questions about the public order of masculine self-government than about universal salvation. Ultimately, Shakers defended themselves not by diluting their radical religion, but by portraying themselves as a loyal, apolitical, and feminine organization. An examination of the published attacks on and defenses of Shakerism between 1780 and 1819 suggests that the struggle over Shakerism centered more on loyalty than on theology.

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
1559-0895
Print ISSN
1543-4273
Pages
pp. 179-204
Launched on MUSE
2009-04-30
Open Access
No
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.