Communities of Dissent A History of Alternative Religions in America

ISBN-10: 0195158253
ISBN-13: 9780195158250
Edition: 2002
Authors: Stephen J. Stein
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Description: Alternative religious groups have had a profound influence on American history-they have challenged the old and opened up new ways of thinking about healing, modes of meaning, religious texts and liturgies, the social and political order, and the  More...

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Book details

List price: $14.99
Copyright year: 2002
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 4/24/2003
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 184
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.00" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.484
Language: English

Alternative religious groups have had a profound influence on American history-they have challenged the old and opened up new ways of thinking about healing, modes of meaning, religious texts and liturgies, the social and political order, and the relationships between religion and race, class, gender, and region. Virtually always, the dramatic, dynamic history of alternative religions runs parallel to that of dissent in America. Communities of Dissent is an evenhanded and marvelously lively history of New Religious Movements in America. Stephen J. Stein describes the evolution and structure of alternative religious movements from both sides: the critics and the religious dissenters themselves. Providing a fascinating look at a wide range of New Religious Movements, he investigates obscure groups such as the 19th-century Vermont Pilgrims, who wore bearskins and refused to bathe or cut their hair, alongside better-known alternative believers, including colonial America's largest outsider faith, the Quakers; 17th- and 18th-century Mennonites, Amish, and Shakers; and the Christian Scientists, Jehovah's Witnesses, Black Muslims, and Scientologists of today. Accessible and comprehensive, Communities of Dissent also covers the milestones in the history of alternative American religions, from the infamous Salem witch trials and mass suicide/murder at Jonestown to the positive ways in which alternative religions have affected racial relations, the empowerment of women, and American culture in general.

Preface
Introduction: Talking About Religious Outsiders
Early Dissenters and Popular Religion
Peace Movements in Colonial America
Communitarians Living on the Margins
Apocalyptic Traditions: Watching and Waiting for the End
Healers and Occultists: Women of Spiritual Means
Sectarians in the City
Twentieth-Century Sects and Cults
Chronology
Further Reading
Index

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