Snow Hill: In the Shadows of the Ephrata Cloister

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Kent State University Press, 2010 - History - 167 pages
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During the first half of the eighteenth century, Pennsylvania became home to a variety of German-speaking sectarians who rebelled against the oppression of European state-church establishments and migrated to the United States to form their own communions. One such group was the Snow Hill Cloister, which was founded in 1762 as an attempt to continue the monastic, communal lifestyle practiced at Georg Conrad Beissel's famed Ephrata Cloister. In an engaging narrative that chronicles with humor and insight her research into this fascinating community of German Seventh-Day Baptists, Denise A. Seachrist tells the story of Snow Hill--its spiritual and work life; its music, writings, architecture, and crafts tradition; and its sad demise in the waning days of the twentieth century. A product of in situ fieldwork that explores the places and personalities behind the founding and prosperity and demise of the cloister, Snow Hill is a long-overdue study of one of America's "experiments" in communal living. It speaks to another time and place and stands as a testament to the idealism of community and the tenaciousness of the human spirit. Those interested in American religious history, communal studies, Pennsylvania German history, and historic preservation will find Snow Hill engrossing and informative.

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Contents

We used to delight in singing lower bass by which
58
The genius of America runs to active doing and
85
Notes
116
Copyright

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About the author (2010)

Denise A. Seachrist is associate professor of music and interim director of Kent State University's Hugh A. Glauser School of Music. She serves on the board of the Communal Studies Association. Seachrist also is an editorial board member for the Pennsylvania German History and Culture book series published by Penn State University Press, the series editor of the World Musics series published by The Kent State University Press, and the author of The Musical World of Halim El-Dabh (The Kent State University Press, 2003).

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