"Julius Rubin traces the history of the Bruderhof from their origins in Germany in the 1920s up to the present day, examining the development of Bruderhof theology, religious vocation and church-community, and their troubles associated with the Hutterian Church.
Rubin argues that in the attempt to routinize the charisma of the founder's generation, the Bruderhof gradually moved away from the founder's vision, appropriating Hutterian forms of church discipline and social organization, and consolidating power in the hands of a patriarchal leadership that evolved into religious authoritarianism."
"Rubin focuses on the incidence of "religious melancholy" among the Bruderhof. This is an affective disorder that has long been associated with pietistic conversion and is characterized by a sense of abandonment by God."
"Rubin also looks at the evidence for religious melancholy among other Anabaptist sects, such as the Mennonites, Brethren, Amish, and the Hutterites. He concludes that any religious community committed to the fulfillment of a utopian vision of total harmony and unity of thought and action, of the surrender of the self to the sect, will create a purgatory for many believers."--Jacket.