TITLE

"Like a violet unseen"– the apotheosis of absence in Hutterite life

AUTHOR(S)
Stephenson, Peter H.
PUB. DATE
November 1978
SOURCE
Canadian Review of Sociology & Anthropology;Nov78, Vol. 15 Issue 4, p433
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
The article focuses on various aspects of Hutterian culture. The Hutterian Brethren are the longest-lived communal society in the world. They arose from the radical wing of the Reformation forces in the early sixteenth century when groups of refugees fleeing persecution for their practice of adult baptism, adopted communal life to compensate for their extreme poverty. These practitioners of adult baptism called themselves baptizers and they believed that only adults who understood moral principles should be baptized because only they could be responsible for their acts. Their baptismal synoptics center on the control of two facets of existence: the domain of the spirit and that of the flesh. The spirit is thought to be an eternal domain and the flesh an impermanent one. The Hutterite view of the origin of life is consistent with the Genesis myth of the old testament wherein the first force present is light which is the spirit which moves across the face of the waters, after which temporary life forms appear. They divide human history into three hours. The spirit predominates in the first hour while the corporeal Christ appears in this, the final hour. These two are bridged by the flood and rebirth of the world. One of the three major symbols of Hutterite life involves the absence of physical properties. The spirit is symbolized without using a mnemonic device.
ACCESSION #
10618833

 

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