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Mother's First-Born Daughters: Early Shaker Writings on Women and Religion (Religion in North America) [Paperback]

By Jean M. Humez (Editor)
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Item description for Mother's First-Born Daughters: Early Shaker Writings on Women and Religion (Religion in North America) by Jean M. Humez...

..". an excellent collection of writings covering the period 1774-1854... mostly in print for the first time.... Humez provides excellent and clear introductions, emphasizing the ambiguous role of women." --Library Journal

"This very fine book is a valuable contribution to Shaker studies, religious studies, and women's studies." --Journal of American History

"The editor provides insightful commentary, but the power is in the straightforward and powerful words of the women who founded and participated in this most religious American group." --The Bloomsbury Review

"Humez's work is a model of revisionist scholarship, critically objective and editorially balanced, and provides a solid introduction to the early history of the Shakers." --Utopian Studies

"Israel, you have begun to bear for other souls, and you must never give out, till the last soul is gathered in. When you get home, tell your father and stepmother that your mother is risen from the dead." --from the book

A fascinating introduction to the world of the early Shakers, this anthology documents the contributions to Shaker religion made by women during its first seventy years. It gives a more accurate vision of Shakerism and highlights the ways in which gender can play an important role in the creation of a new religious institution.

Citations And Professional Reviews
Mother's First-Born Daughters: Early Shaker Writings on Women and Religion (Religion in North America) by Jean M. Humez has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -

  • Library Journal - 03/01/1993

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Indiana University Press
Pages   336
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.26" Width: 6.19" Height: 0.9"
Weight:   1.15 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   May 1, 1993
Publisher   Indiana University Press
ISBN  0253207444  
ISBN13  9780253207449  

Availability  145 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 26, 2016 05:36.
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More About Jean M. Humez

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JEAN M. HUMEZ is Associate Professor of Women s Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. She is the editor of Gifts of Power: The Writings of Rebecca Jackson, Black Visionary, Shaker Eldress.


Jean M. Humez has an academic affiliation as follows - University of Massachusetts, Boston.

Jean M. Humez has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Religion in North America

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Social Sciences > General
2Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Social Sciences
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Church History > Protestant
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Protestantism > Presbyterian
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Protestantism > Shaker

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Reviews - What do customers think about Mother's First-Born Daughters: Early Shaker Writings on Women and Religion (Religion in North America)?

Excellent, not like "Two Centuries Of Spiritual Reflection"  Jul 6, 2004
Jean McMahon Humez stands in all probability as the greatest expert on the fascinating, extinct sect known to the world as The Shakers. Her ability to compile the writings of Rebecca Jackson, one of the most famous converts to Shakerism, in such an effective manner as she did was remarkable. In that work, Humez showed a true mastery of what ought to be seen as a difficult topic.

Although a failed postage has meant I have not been able to receive the book, "Mother's First-Born Daughters: Early Shaker Writings on Women and Religion" appears to be as good as Humez' previous work on the topic. Though it meant nothing to me when I first read it, it is fair to say that since that time I have become better able to understand the mysteries that lie at the core of Shaker life. The fact that Shakers had a quite complicated system (as Humez makes us aware) meant that their writings on spiritual topics have not been as available to a reader like me as books dealing with, say, Shaker furniture or cooking.

Hence, this collection, when and if I get a chance to read it thoroughly, should be a revelation. The findings I have so far had about it show clearly that Humez is able to "get inside" the lives of Shaker women in a way more general studies of Shakerism never even attempt to do. She seems to be able to show more than just events within communes from 170-210 years ago in a manner that is rare even among the best-researched histories, especially in the early and late parts of the book. This appears to be very well balanced with commentaries that give the general reader some hop of understanding the text, so that in no way can it be as unreadable as I found it several years back.

We really see and feel the religious inspiriation of the Shaker mediums, even understanding where they felt it was coming from, when we read Humez' well-edited texts. The feelings and dreams of being possessed by spirits normally seems far removed, yet here it seems totally familiar, as do other aspects of Shaker spirituality discussed in the book.

On the whole, these texts cement Jean McMahon-Humez' status as the greatest Shaker historian. Strongly recommended, especially as none of the texts can be found in the equally impressive The Shakers: Two Centuries Of Spiritual Reflection. Together, they give a mountain of writings for a modern reader to reflect upon.

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