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Kingdom of athias

Uploaded by psugrad on Oct 07, 2002

Johnson and Welentz’s Kingdom of Mathias is a twist on history that I have never seen before. It starts in the early 1800’s with people working in cities, growing up on farms or immigrating from other countries (which are not unlike any other history books I have read) then progresses into a downward spiral of religion, cult fixations and new ways of life. Robert Mathew (Mathias) formed a religious cult that caused mass hysteria. He reformed the normal value systems, ideas about god and men and women’s place in society.

Robert Mathews started a religious cult called the Kingdom where he preached in raging fury that he was the God Almighty’s prophet. He relocated from place to place recruiting members to his new society. He preached, “ours is the mustard-seed kingdom which is to spread all over the earth…,” and “they who teach women are of the wicked.”(p93) After many years passed he settled at a place he called Mount Zion in upstate NY, where a select group of his followers lived with him.

In the process of relocating he taught his followers a system of principles and rules. He was the only one to preach and should not be question about his gospel. At his home supper was an important sacrament and the meats they ate should be boiled not roasted. He was served his own dishes and he said quote “ all were branded ‘Judases’ who dipped their hands in the same dish with him.” (p111) Before they ate he gave outlandish emotionally charged sermons, which became a nightly ritual. He was to wear very extravagant garments and his followers were to dress nice and look clean at all times.

His ideas on god were just as outrageous. He claimed “god don’t speak through preachers, he speaks through me, his prophet.” (p112). At Mount Zion his new followers kept old traditions, which included praying on their knees and going to church. After a few weeks of residence their tradition was quickly banned. He would warn his followers that he gave them a part of his spirit and he would know exactly what they did.

Even though he was God’s prophet he could still succumb to the seductive ways of the woman. Benjamin Folger, one of his followers that lived at Mount Zion, had a wife named Ann. Ann became increasingly infatuated with Mathias. She would ask his servant to explain the Prophet’s...

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Uploaded by:   psugrad

Date:   10/07/2002

Category:   Literature

Length:   3 pages (736 words)

Views:   1581

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