So, this week we start a little series about cults in American history, but this first episode took a slight detour into a more general discussion of utopian communities in America, particularly in the nineteenth century. We discuss Oneida, Harmony, and New Harmony, among others. We also trace the way religion and the Second Great Awakening shaped utopian ideas including the concept of moral perfectionism.
Join us for Part 2 of our series for Black History Month. We discuss the nation’s founding documents and the ways slavery was and was not addressed in each. We also discuss early abolitionists like Sojourner Truth and her connections to the Second Great Awakening, a period of religious revivalism, and William Lloyd Garrison. We also discuss the oppositional approaches towards ending slavery adopted by Nat Turner and Frederick Douglass. Finally, we discuss the unlikely friendship of Douglass and John Brown, the man hanged for his attack on the Federal Arsenal at Harper’s Ferry.