Fair, Clear, and Terrible

The Story of Shiloh, Maine

By Shirley Nelson

Fair, Clear, and Terrible

paperback-logo

  • ISBN: 9781597521079
  • Pages: 446
  • Publication Date: 2/28/2005
  • Retail Price: $44.00
Web Price: $35.20
Web Price: $35.20

Fair, Clear, and Terrible

The Story of Shiloh, Maine

By Shirley Nelson

paperback-logo

PAPERBACK

  • ISBN: 9781597521079
  • Pages: 446
  • Publication Date: 2/28/2005
  • Retail Price: $44.00
Web Price: $35.20

About-

This bizarre, true story of a dynamic religious leader and his perfectionist followers gives insight into countless extremist movements today.

At the turn of the century, a young man named Frank Weston Sandford, proclaiming himself the fulfillment of certain Biblical prophecies, founded a movement called Shiloh, its central location on a hill in the town of Durham, Maine. The movement's purpose was sweeping and ultimate - to prepare the world for the Second Coming of Christ and the cataclysmic events which would usher it in.

The enactment of this mission spanned twenty-five years, involving many hundreds of people. Sandford, an appealing and volatile leader, erected an extraordinary complex of buildings in Durham, opened stations in major American cities, then set sail on the high seas in a racing schooner with a select group of followers. Their intention was to circle the globe for Christ. Instead, they headed for doom.

As the movement expanded, so did its aspirations - and its dangers. The concept of itself as an apocalyptic force in the world exacted relentless personal demands. Rigorous fasts and purges kept members in a constant state of anxiety regarding their spiritual condition. While Sandford diverted funds to expand the effort to an international scale - England, Africa, Jerusalem - food and necessities became scarce on the Durham hilltop. Professional medical care was repudiated. Deaths began to multiply. In the court trials that structure the story, Sandford was finally convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to prison.

Shirley Nelson, whose parents grew up in this unusual society, tells Shiloh's powerful story with passion, understanding, and grace. She captures the inner dimensions of an intense religious culture and deals poignantly with themes that remain current and haunting: authority, heroism, martyrdom - and the frightening phenomenon of one personality in control of many others.

Endorsements & Reviews-

"This is a marvelous book. Its most obvious trait is that it reads like a novel.... On top of that, it represents a wonderful job of historical research."

George M. Marsden, author of 'Fundamentalism and American Culture'

"An excellent contribution to the understanding of religious - and therefore quintessentially human - behavior."

Dean M. Kelley, Director for Religious Liberty, National Council of Churches

Contributors-

Shirley Nelson

Bio(s)-

Shirley Nelson won the Harper-Saxton Fellowship and the Friends of Literature award for fiction for the novel 'The Last Year of the War'.

More from the Contributor(s)-

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