Building Jerusalem

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:

Series: Oxford Theological Monographs

Building Jerusalem

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This chapter examines the developments in the Southcottian movement in the 1820s shaped by the prophetic leadership of John Wroe (1782-1863). From a re-assessment of the ‘Christian Israelite’ community that Wroe founded in this decade in Ashton-under-Lyne, the chapter puts forward a substantially new interpretation of its significance. The alternative religious and social practices – which included keeping the Laws of Moses – the different patterns of communitarianism, and the altered theological understandings of the millennium which emerged among Southcottians under Wroe’s influence, all enabled such millenarians to gain a radically different view of how their activities in the present related to the coming millennium. This allowed them to conceive of a new relationship between their own, human agency, and the agency of God in the arrival of the millennium. The chapter notably reconstructs Wroe’s theology of the millennium using a copy of his prophecies not previously available for academic research.

Keywords: agency; ashton-under-Lyne; Christian Israelite; communitarianism; laws of Moses; prophecy; john Wroe

Chapter.  10399 words. 

Subjects: Christianity

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