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The History of a Modern Millennial Movement: The Southcottians

The History of a Modern Millennial Movement: The Southcottians

Edited by: Jane Shaw, Philip Lockley, Neil Quilliam, Mark Thompson

  • Hardback | In Stock | £62.00

  • Hardback | In Stock | $99.00

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A feverish expectation of the end of the world seems an unlikely accompaniment to middle-class respectability. But it was precisely her interest in millennial thinking that led Jane Shaw to a group of genteel terraced townhouses in the English county town of Bedford. Inside their unassuming grey-brick exteriors Shaw found something extraordinary. For here, within the 'Ark', lived two members of the Panacea Society, last survivors of the remaining Southcottian prophetic communities in Britain. And these individuals were the heirs to a rich archive charting not just their own apocalyptic sect, but also the histories of the many groups and their leaders who from the early nineteenth century onwards had followed the beliefs of the self-styled prophetess and prospective mother of the Messiah ('Shiloh'), Joanna Southcott, who died in 1814. Placing its subjects in a global context, this is the first book to explore the religious thinking of all the Southcottians. It reveals a transnational movement with striking and innovative ideas: not just about prophecy and the coming apocalypse, but also about politics, gender, class and authority.

The volume will sell to scholars and students of religion and cultural studies as well as social history.

Author Info

Jane Shaw is Dean for Religious Life and Professor of Religious Studies at Stanford University. She is the author of Miracles in Enlightenment England (2006) and of Octavia, Daughter of God: The Story of a Female Messiah and Her Followers (2011), for which she won the San Francisco Book Festival History Prize. Philip Lockley is a member of the Department of Theology and Religion at Durham University and was formerly a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow in the University of Oxford. He is the author of Visionary Religion and Radicalism in Early Industrial England (2013).


‘This highly original book vividly charts the history of that charismatic millenarian prophetess Joanna Southcott and her ardent far-flung followers from their roots in 18th-century heterodox Protestantism to the Jezreelites in mid-Victorian Kent, the Panaceans in early 20th-century Bedford, the Christian Israelites in Australia and the Israelite House of David in Michigan. Combining mastery of complex theological thickets with unforgettable portraits of individual leaders and deft historical analysis, the authors reveal just how modern these Southcottians were in their pursuit of heaven – here and now - on earth.’ – Seth Koven, G E Lessing Distinguished Professor of History and Poetics, Rutgers University

Bibliographic Info

Imprint: I.B.Tauris
Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co. Ltd.
Series: IBT STDs in Propecy, Apocalypse and Millenialism

ISBN: 9781784538460
Publication Date: 29 May 2017
Number of Pages: 304
Height: 234
Width: 156
Illustrations: 30 integrated illustrations with a 16 page colour plate section

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