Noyes, John Humphrey


U.S. Religious Leader

John Humphrey Noyes, the founder and leader of the utopian Oneida Community (established in 1848), developed a radical conception of masculinity and sexuality. His spiritual and religious convictions led him to criticize the dominant heterosexual family structure in the United States, as well as the changes wrought on U.S. work culture by nineteenth-century industrialization.

In 1831, after a year of studying law, Noyes was converted during a religious revival of the Second Great Awakening, after which he entered the Andover Theological Seminary in Massachusetts. Finding Andover's theological approach too restrictive, he left and entered the Yale Divinity School, where he was influenced by Nathaniel Taylor's doctrine of Perfectionism. According to this doctrine, which assumed major importance in American religious thinking during the Awakening, ...

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