The Kingdom of Matthias by Paul Johnson & Sean Wilentz
Critical review of biography of 19th Cent. Amer. religious cult leader Robert Matthews.
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Paul E. Johnson and Sean Wilentz in their book The Kingdom of Matthias write about a historical event that may not be well-known to most Americans. They tell the story of the self-proclaimed prophet Matthias and the kingdom he created based on his religious beliefs, related to the Second Great Awakening of religious fervor in American history. This nineteenth-century movement had numerous effects, including the creation of a variety of new cults and movements, such as that of them Mormons. Matthias lived in the first half of the nineteenth century as the United States was beginning to move away culturally from European roots and to build a uniquely American society. The book by Johnson and Wilentz details the nature of the man who led the movement, the nature of his followers, and the reaction of American society to his attempts to create a kingdom of his own…