Cambridge Encyclopedia » Cambridge Encyclopedia Vol. 67

Shakers - Origin of the name, Wardley predecessors, Ann Lee, Communalism under Joseph Meacham, Communal spiritual family

popular led community christ

The popular name for members of the United Society for Believers in Christ's Second Appearing, founded in England under the leadership of Ann Lee, a psychic visionary, who led them to America in 1774. They believed that Christ had appeared with Ann Lee. Communitarian and pacifist, their ecstatic dancing gave rise to their popular name. They are known for their furniture and other designs. Their acceptance of strict celibacy has led to their decline, and in 1992 the Canterbury Shaker Valley community ceased to exist following the death of the last Shaker sister there, Ethel Hudson, aged 96. By 2000 only the Sabbathday Lake Shaker community remained active, with a total of seven members.

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