The Christian Religious Group of the Shakers

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The Shakers are one of the most fascinating religious groups on the planet. This article explores how Shakers live in "families," run farms, and accept orphans. And you'll discover how these people developed written covenants. It's also an enlightening look at their earliest rites of passage. Learn more about their beliefs and practices, and discover why they're so unique.

Shaker brethren lived in "families"

The Shakers were a religious sect that originated in England in the 17th century. They fled persecution by the Catholic church and settled in New York City. The Shaker community in Watervliet, New York was the first in the United States. The Shakers worshiped God with singing, shouting, and violent trembling. Although the Shaker religion was considered profane by many traditional Christian religions, the community flourished despite its ridicule.

They ran farms

The Shakers began as a small group of religious dissidents in England. Their nickname came from the way the spirit moved them during worship. They believed in a God who was equal parts female and male. Ann Lee brought eight of these people to New York in 1774. They found a hostile climate there. People had little appetite for their ecstatic dancing and their belief in a god of equal parts female and male.

They accepted orphans

In 1774, a visionary Englishwoman, Mother Ann Lee, founded the "Society of Believers." The religious group's early members were attracted to the ecstatic preaching, prophecies, and Spirit-inspired dancing. The Shakers eventually numbered around six thousand. Today, the Shaker community is still accepting new recruits. In 1785, Shaker orphans are welcomed into the community.

They developed written covenants

The Christian religious group of the Shakers was a very diverse community. They had many similarities with Quakers, but they differed in their practices and beliefs. In addition to having written covenants, they also practiced communal ownership and abnegation of self. Shakers numbered more than five thousand "brothers" and "sisters" by the 1820s. Eventually, they lost their external momentum and merged with larger society. In the 1930s, most Shaker communities were no longer active.

They struggled with complex human problems

The Shakers were pioneers in the voluntary simplicity movement, which sought to counter the forces of globalization. The Shakers lived in communities, subverting habits and consumer lifestyles. They cultivated a rich communal life while preserving their Christian faith. They also emphasized social simplicity, reducing the number of possessions. The result was a thriving spiritual community that remained largely uncomplicated, even today.

June 14, 2022
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