"Open exposure to a carping world"
Williams, Kathleen Jessica
MetadataShow full item record
This project is an exploration of the themes of vision and self-presentation in the Oneida Community, a nineteenth-century communitarian religious group in central New York. Its central claim is that members and leaders of the community engaged in deliberate acts of self-presentation to and observation of the outside world, conscious of their dual positions as seer and seen. This double-consciousness, or double-gaze, grew out of the theology of Christian Perfectionism that the community embraced. The thesis provides background information on the community, including the context of the religious revivals of the Second Great Awakening and a genealogy of the Perfectionist theology of Oneida’s founder, John Humphrey Noyes. It explains the practices of complex marriage, Bible Communism, and mutual criticism, as outgrowths of the community’s Perfectionist theology.