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This is a detailed study of a tradition of popular religion in early nineteenth-century England which expected a messiah to return and institute a millennium of peace and harmony. Members of this popular religion called 'Southcottianism' eventually became involved in radical politics and early socialism - forms of activity associated with humans transforming the world for the better and not waiting for God to act. Using many new archive sources, Philip Lockleyrecovers the theological basis behind some Southcottians apparently changing their beliefs about the role of politics in realising the millennium. His study offers a new history of this engaging sect, revising every existing academic work on the subject and provides new interpretations of visionary andprophetic religion.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Southcottianism, Radicalism and Agency I: Southcottians after Southcott, 1815-1820 1. A Divided Movement 2. Southcottians in Industrial Society 3. Post-war Politics II: Paths to Politics, 1820-1840 4. Building Jerusalem 5. Finding Shiloh 6. A Convert to Community 7. From Revelation to Radicalism 8. The Political Messiah 9. Agents of the Millennium 10. Socialism and the Religious Imagination