Story Bibliography
Set Apart: Religious Communities in Pennsylvania Bibliography
Further Reading

Alderfer, E. Gordon. The Ephrata Commune: An Early American Counterculture. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1985.

A good overview of Ephrata's history that places the history in chronological order and in the context of American history.

Arndt, Karl J. R. George Rapp's Harmony Society, 1785-1847. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1965.

The definitive history of George Rapp and the Harmonists up to Rapp's death in 1847.

Aurand, A. Monroe. Historical Account of the Ephrata Cloister. Harrisburg, PA: The Aurand Press, 1940.

A good introduction to Ephrata, with many historic illustrations.

Bach, Jeff. Voices of the Turtle Doves: The Mystical Language of the Ephrata Cloister. University Park, PA: Penn State Press, 2003.

A study of Ephrata based on primary resources, the focus of this work is the theology of Conrad Beissel and the ways it was put into practice at Ephrata. This work has brought new understanding to the history of the community.

Bestor, Arthur E. Backwoods Utopias. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1950.

Deals with communitarianism in the United States and focuses on Robert Dale Owens' contributions and New Harmony ending in 1830.

Braden, Charles Samuel. These Also Believe. New York: The MacMillan Co., 1949.

Interesting accounts of religious movements in the early twentieth century.

Bronner, Edwin. William Penn's Holy Experiment: The Founding of Pennsylvania. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1978.

Endy, Melvin B. William Penn and Early Quakerism. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1973.

Faull, Katherine M., ed.. Moravian Women's Memoirs: Their Related Lives, 1750-1820. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 1997.

Pioneering book on the Sisters of the faith and the changing lives of Moravian women.

Holloway, Mark. Heavens on Earth. New York: Dover Publications, 1966.

A history of utopian communities in America from 1680-1880.

Kelley, Joseph J., Jr. Pennsylvania: the Colonial Years, 1681-1776. New York: Doubleday & Co., 1980.

Lamech, (none) and (none) Agrippa. Chronicon Ephratense. Edited by J. Max (translator) Hark New York: Burt Franklin Publishing, 1972 (Orig. 1889).

One of the major primary resources on Ephrata, the authors were original members of the community, and intended the work to be a glowing biography of the founder Conrad Beissel.

Landes, Richard A. Encyclopedia of Millennialism and Millennial Movements. New York: Routledge, 2000.

Contains entries for all the millennialist groups in Pennsylvania history.

Muncy, Raymond Lee. Sex and Marriage in Utopian Communities. Baltimore, MD: Penguin Books, 1974.

Useful for information on Ephrata, the Harmony Society, and the Moravians.

Nordhoff, Charles. The Communistic Societies of the United States. New York: Schocken Books, 1971 (orig. 1875).

First published in 1875, this book includes a first-hand description of the Harmonists' town of Economy in the early 1870s.

Oved, Yaacov. Two Hundred Years of American Communes. Newark, NJ: Transaction Books, 1988.

An excellent history of communes in the United States.

Pitzer, Donald E., ed.. America's Communal Utopias. Chapel Hill, NC: North Carolina University Press, 1997.

A volume of excellent introductory material by leading scholars on several different communal societies in America including Kelpius, Ephrata, Moravians, and Harmonists, along with Shakers, Hutterites, and twentieth century communes.

Reibel, Daniel B. A Guide to Old Economy. Harrisburg, PA: Pennsylvania Historical Commission and Museum Commission, 1972.

A good history of Harmony Society and its village.

Reichmann, Felix and Eugene Doll, ed.. Ephrata as seen by Contemporaries. Allentown, PA: Pennsylvania German Folklore Society, 1953.

A compilation of many different eighteenth century accounts by visitors to Ephrata.

Rexroth, Kenneth. Communalism: From its Origins to the Twentieth Century. New York: The Seabury Press, 1974.

Good source for students with material that covers many of the major utopian societies.

Sangmeister, Ezechial. Leben und Wandel (Life and Conduct). Edited by Barbara (Translator) Schindler Ephrata, PA: The Historical Society of the Cocalico Valley, 1986.

A major primary resource on Ephrata, the writings of Sangmeister sometimes place the community in a less than positive light and should be compared with other original sources such as the Chronicon Ephratense.

Sessler, John Jacob. Communal Pietism Among Early American Moravians. New York: Henry Holt & Co., 1933.

An older, classic study of Moravian history in America.

Smaby, Beverly Prior. The Transformation of Moravian Bethlehem. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1988.

This rich history documents the history of Moravians in Bethlehem between settlement in 1741 and the opening of the town to outsiders in 1884.

Wallace, Anthony F. C. Rockdale. New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 1978.

Includes mid-nineteenth century Christian millennialist views about how the Civil War would usher in the Second Coming.

Watts, Jill. God, Harlem U.S.A.: The Father Divine Story. Los Angeles, CA: University of California Press, 1992.

An excellent history of Father Divine and his Peace Mission Movement.

Web Guide

Church of the Brethren website on Ephrata Cloister and Snow Hill

Thorough, in-depth essay about faith and history of the people at Ephrata.

Ephrata Cloister

The Ephrata Cloister is a national historic landmark, located in Central Pennsylvania's Lancaster County.

FATHER and MOTHER DIVINE'S International Peace Mission Movement

The official site of the International Peace Mission Movement, it includes extensive histories, sermons, and other information about Father Divine and his movement.

Moravian Church Genealogy Links

Extensive site on history of the Moravian church, faith, and history.

Moravian Church in America

Official site for the Moravian Church in America provides the basics of faith, and brief history.

Old Economy Village

The Alchemy of the Voice at Ephrata Cloister

Very detailed on the faith and the founder of Ephrata with some wonderful images.

The Harmony Museum

Official website of the Harmony Museum, it includes a history of Harmony, photographs, and information about the museum.

Back to Top