Cover for FOSTER: Religion and Sexuality: The Shakers, the Mormons, and the Oneida Community. Click for larger image

Religion and Sexuality

The Shakers, the Mormons, and the Oneida Community
Awards and Recognition:

Winner of the Best Book Award, Mormon History Association

"This is a balanced and masterful study on a timely topic that sheds light on the representative humanness of Shakers, Oneidans, and Mormons as they developed essentially religious strategies for coping with problems of intimacy in their times."--Catherine L. Albanese, author of Corresponding Motion: Transcendental Religion and the New America

"Foster has produced an exciting, first-rate study. In showing us the details of sexual sublimation among the Shakers, the intricacies of the 'complex marriage' and coitus reservatus among the Oneida Perfectionists, and the virtually unfathomable complexity of Joseph Smith's early ideals and trials at plural marriage in Nauvoo, Foster gives these groups a degree of humanity, tangibility, and pathos rarely available from historians."--Mark P. Leone, Western Historical Quarterly

"Foster's study is not merely historical, for he is asking us to perceive in these earlier struggles and achievements the same urge to discover new and better ways which is now so important a movement of our own far more troubled and confused era."--Rosemary Haughton, Commonweal

"This important scholarly work is highly relevant to at least three of the academic disciplines: early American history, sociology of religion, and sociology of the family. Furthermore, no lay person with interests in such wide-ranging phenomena as Mormon history, early communal movements, alternative marriage arrangements, and sexrole structure can afford to be without it."--Harold Christensen, Western Humanities Review

"A model study of the history of group and cultural dynamics that includes the most exhaustively researched, broadly conceived, and sophisticated analysis of Mormon polygamy extant."--Klaus J. Hansen, author of Mormonism and the American Experience

Lawrence Foster is an associate professor of American history in the School of Social Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta.

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