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4 pages/≈1100 words
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MLA
Subject:
History
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English (U.S.)
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The Kingdom of Matthias: A Story of Sex and Salvation in 19th-Century America (1994) (Essay Sample)

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The Kingdom of Mathias
"The Kingdom of Matthias" is a story of sex and salvation in the 19th century America whose core theme is on the impact of the Second Great Awakening on the lives of men and women and the society in general. The book gives a detailed account of the unique American episode in the 19th century during the wake of religious revivalism. The book revolves around the life of Robert Matthews, who lived in New York in 1830. Robert Matthews became a self claimed The Prophet of the God of the Jews - Matthias. At that time which the book recounts between 1820 and 1840, the American society had found itself in the web of religious fervor, and it sought a need to escape. It was also during this period of time that series of cults, religious leaders and interest with such leaders was at the optimal. Remarkably as it seems this early 19th century story of a man with a disastrous home life, illuminates dramatic changes in the nature of American religion, economy and gender roles.
Matthews was a small time carpenter, who manages to transform himself into a Prophet. He initiates the creation of a new cult by exploits the needs of the people to envision prosperity, optimism, freedom and new beliefs. And just like any other false prophet, he spells out his religious visions and indeed fooled his followers. The story is as shocking as it is significant, indeed a bitter satire upon the age of the country. In as much as one would term this story as eccentric, it is also a dead serious commentary on the contest over religion, sexuality, family life, and social class that brings with it the rise of the market society, with an inherent resonance to today`s American society.
The story tells of a bizarre religious cult, however, it is a very integral event to the society for several reasons and it affected the culture, bringing out the connections among the sudden economic change, race and sex relations, politics, popula...
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