Call for papers, session, presentations for the 27th Annual Meeting of the Communal Studies Association
Theme: Charismatic Leaders and Family Relations: Promise or Problem
Site: The Historic Ephrata Cloister, Ephrata, PA
Date: September 27-30, 2000
Communal groups of whatever basis, ideology, or orientation face the question of the relationship between the sexes. The "hippie communes" of the 1960s were notorious for experimentation in this regard, but "free love" was not an invention of the post-World War II era. In the 19th century both the Oneida and Spirit Fruit communities were known for their "complex marriage" and "erotic libertarianism." In some ways, counter-intuitively, those communal bodies demanding celibacy were the longest-lasting. This is not totally surprising when the centuries old-practices of monasticism in world religions is considered. The Harmony Society, the Separatists of Zoar, the Shakers, and the Mormons-among many others--brought their own answers to the perennial question.
In the 18th centuries the contrasting approaches of the Ephrata Society and the Renewed Moravian colonies sharpened the debate, with the former mandating celibacy and the later celebrating marital relations. The year 2000 is the anniversary of the birth of the Moravian leader, Count von Zinzendorf. The Ephrata-Moravian relationship provides a timely focus for a discussion of the broader issues.
Some questions that might well be posed at the CSA conference of 2000 are:
To what extent were the charismatic founders of communal groups directly responsible for the marital or celibate policies?
How did broader societal pressure (whether religious or secular) impinge upon these decisions?
Did the practice of celibacy heighten the chance of communal longevity or was it a recipe for disaster?
ow did alternative sexual relationships affect the way in which the public accepted or rejected communal groups?
Papers, panel discussions, and other presentations related to these issues are welcomed.
The CSA unites scholars of all disciplines researching communitarian bodies, members currently living in communities, curators and site managers of historic communal sites, descendents of communal members, and members of the general public.
Dr. Donald F. Durnbaugh,
Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, 16652, U.S.A.
Fax: (814) 641-3435 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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