By Shannon Combs Bennett, Student
After U.S. Religious Records – Part 1 I jumped straight into U.S. Religious Records – Part 2 . I thought it made sense to just go ahead and keep the momentum going by continuing with the topic. It was a good idea since all of the information from Part 1 was still fresh in my mind. If you can schedule both courses close together I would recommend it.
The first section was a particularly informative overview of religious records, groups, communities, and history which occurred in America during the 19th and 20th centuries. I always found the communal religious societies in the 19th century fascinating. The Shakers, Oneida Community, Millerites/Adventists, Mormons and Community of Christ all developed during a time in American history that was filled with religious expression. Many of these communities were unable to sustain themselves but others still exist today in flourishing communities. (The Mormons and The Community of Christ are covered extensively in Module 3 of this course.)
These communities formed during the first half of the 1800s when there was a religious fervor occurring across the former colonies. The “Second Great Revival” in the Protestant religions swept over the country and made the atmosphere ripe for religious exploration and expression. This atmosphere contributed to the formation of a variety of religious movements and communities (many of which didn’t actually have a religious focus) like the ones listed above.