Chapter

A Divided Movement

Dr Philip Lockley

in Visionary Religion and Radicalism in Early Industrial England

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199663873
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191744792 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199663873.003.0002

Series: Oxford Theological Monographs

A Divided Movement

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This chapter analyses the condition of the Southcottian religious movement in the period 1815-20 – the five years following the death of its founder. It shows Southcottianism was fiercely divided by Southcott’s death, losing about one third of its recorded membership in 1814, with the remainder split between those accepting or denying a successor prophet, George Turner. On the basis of new archival evidence and the comparison of sources, the chapter provides an important revisionist view of both the geographical spread of the Southcottian movement and its gender ratio. A national Southcottian chapel network is traced for the first time. Contrary to existing historical interpretations, Southcottianism is shown to have had no distinctive appeal to women. Among male Southcottians, personal religious experience is found to have been important in their decision to embrace Southcottianism.

Keywords: archives; geographical spread; gender; religious experience; joanna Southcott; George Turner

Chapter.  11844 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Christianity

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