Book Group The Catholic Book


Book Group

The Catholic Book Group meets this morning. We'll be talking about God Among the Shakers by Suzanne Skees. It was one of the more interesting books I've read in a while. Ms. Skees has a Catholic Background. She spent some time after the birth of her third child with the Shakers of Sabbathday Lake, Maine. This is the last extant Shaker community. The Shakers seem to be a co-ed, protestant, monastic community with some really odd theological elements. (For example they consider their founder Ann Lee to be a kind of female second coming of Christ. When speaking of God they say consistently Father/Mother.)

What is most interesting is that despite the odd theological elements, the ground of being is oriented largely in the way many other Christian monastic communities are. Until reading this book, I was under the impression that the Shakers were Christian. Now, I am less certain. I suspect that there is much that is Christian, but the theology of sin and redemption seems so far removed from Christian understanding as to move them into one of the Christian spin-offs or vaguely allied movements. They strike me more as theistic Unitarians than Christians. Their belief in God is solid, down to earth, and pervasive in everything they do.

Anyway, if you're interested in history of religion or even just some aspects of American History, you'll find this book fascinating.

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on December 21, 2002 7:58 AM.

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