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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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(p.131) 6 Harmony
City of Refuge

Michael J. Lewis

Princeton University Press

This chapter focuses on Johann Georg Rapp, who persuaded nearly a thousand of his followers to leave Germany for America, where they would build three towns in the wilderness, and in the process renounce private property, personal ambition, and even sexual relations. These towns he named Harmony (1804), New Harmony (1814), and Economy (1824); all remain intact today to an unusual degree. They reveal Rapp's ever more imaginative use of architecture as an instrument of religious expression and of social cohesion. Rapp's towns are the most important and influential of all cities of refuge, which would not only shape other separatist societies but also—as later reformers looked more at the communism of the Harmonists than their architecture—a substantial portion of the world itself.

Keywords:   Johann Georg Rapp, religious expression, social cohesion, town planning, German–American architecture, city of refuge, New Harmony, Economy, Harmonists

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