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City of RefugeSeparatists and Utopian Town Planning$
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Michael J. Lewis

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780691171814

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691171814.001.0001

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The Idea of the City of Refuge

The Idea of the City of Refuge

(p.9) 1 The Idea of the City of Refuge
City of Refuge

Michael J. Lewis

Princeton University Press

This chapter begins by describing the meaning of “city of refuge,” which derives from the Bible, for it was only logical that Christian societies suffering persecution and seeking sanctuary look there to find solace and guidance. Because the city of refuge is a living tradition and not the exclusive property of any denomination, its boundaries are somewhat elastic. This book looks at sanctuaries built to house religious refugees (such as Freudenstadt and the settlements of the Moravians), those built by charismatic communal leaders (the three towns created by George Rapp), and even some that were purely imaginary (those planned by Albrecht Dürer and Johann Valentin Andreae). The socialist Utopias of the early nineteenth century stand at the culmination of this tradition, refuges not from religious persecution but industrial capitalism.

Keywords:   town planning, city of refuge, religious refugees, industrial capitalism, socialism

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