The Theology Pugcast: The Demise of the Shakers & the Dangers of an Over-realized Eschatology
Today Chris introduces Tom and Glenn to the Shakers–America’s favorite utopian sect. If you know anything about them you probably associate them with furniture, oval nesting boxes, and the song Simple Gifts.
At their height during the Second Great Awakening there were 6,000 of them living in nearly 20 communities scattered from Maine to Kentucky. Today they are the darlings of liberalism because they renounced the household-economy, private property, and even marriage.
Naturally, this meant that they also renounced procreation. They believe heaven had come to earth with the second advent of Christ–this time as a woman–in the person of their founder Mother Ann. They believed that God had male and female natures and that the Fall of Adam and Eve in Eden had something to do with sex. Weird stuff, Gnostic too.
You can learn more about them in the many museums that now preserve their artifacts. If you want to speak with real Shakers, you better hurry, there are only 2 left and they’re elderly.
In some ways the themes that characterized Shakerism are still with us, and some of them even seem to be growing more popular among the young in evangelicalism.
The show was recorded at Elicit Brewing, a new brewpub in Manchester, CT that the guys have wanted to try out. They found a quiet corner and everything was going swimmingly until about 3/4 of the way through when someone at the pub decided it would be a good idea to blast the music. The guys are sorry for yet another noisy show–they won’t go back there again.