Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Spiritual Spectacles: Vision and Image in Mid-Nineteenth-Century Shakerism (Religion in North America) Hardcover – March 22, 1993
All Books, All the Time
Read author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more at the Amazon Book Review. Read it now
Customers who bought this item also bought
Promey's book is a penetrating analysis of Shaker art. Her major thesis is that the apparently contradictory emergence of graphic images in this explicitly nonmaterialistic religious society is, in fact, sensible in terms of the third generation's need for visible (and thereby real) connection to the original charisma of the society's founders. The images, acceptably constructed as a form of Shaker holy writ, conflated the past with the present by making the saints of the earlier era concurrent with the later generation. Promey exquisitely uses dense analysis of Shaker and world sociocultural contexts to clarify the structure, function, and meanings of the images. She appropriately contextualizes the images with regard to important theological and ideological constructs basic to Shakerism, e.g., order and gift. Further, she refines current terminology by embracing many of the heretofore disparate graphic forms within her term gift images. Promey admirably uses Turner's anthropological models of liminality, but she might have benefited from grounding her discussion of charismatic institutionalization in Weberian sociology. The book is a gem, a true advance in Shaker studies, art history, religious history, and cultural history. Highly recommended. General; undergraduate; graduate. ―J. B. Wolford, Indiana UniversityPurdue Univ., Indianapolis, October 1993
About the Author
SALLY M. PROMEY is currently Assistant Professor in the Department of Art History and Archaeology at the University of Maryland at College Park.
Top customer reviews
Frances Morin’s Heavenly Visions: Shaker Gift Drawings and Gift Songs and Sharon Duane Koomler’s Seen and Received: the Shakers’ Private Art offered a wonderful look at the divine experiences of Shaker mediums during the period of “Mother Anne’s Work” which aimed at restoring the passion of early Shakerism with only short-term success – for as social conditions changed and the US urbanised, membership in Shaker villages rapidly fell after the 1840s.
In contrast, Sally Promey’s ‘Spiritual Spectacles: Vision and Image in Mid-Nineteenth-Century Shakerism’ aims to offer an analysis of the nature of the “spirit drawings” of Mother Ann’s work, but unfortunately she fails to offer much more than can be found in standard histories of Shakerism from June Sprigg or the Andrews family. This tendency to not offer as much new as would have been hoped is clearly observed in such features as the personal backgrounds of Shaker “instruments”, the nature of the images they created, and . There is a fair amount of detail but it is dry and not nearly so original as I had hoped for when buying the book. Nor are there any of the detailed pictures and analysis of the best books on Shaker visionaries from other sources.
Thus, the merely curious will be left wishing from ‘Spiritual Spectacles: Vision and Image in Mid-Nineteenth-Century Shakerism’ for some real artistic detail and analysis and those with past experience reading about the Shakers will not find much new. Nonetheless, ‘Spiritual Spectacles: Vision and Image in Mid-Nineteenth-Century Shakerism’ does give a good overview of the themes which are found in these visions, so that as a purely reference work it does possess considerable value – although for those merely curious about Shakerism there are much better books available.