Australia has a long and rich history of religious groups trying to establish some sort of utopia by removing themselves from urban centres to rural idylls. The first of these was H errnhut, in western Victoria (1853–1889), and today there are many such as D anthonia B ruderhof and N ew G ovardhana, in NSW, C henrezig, in Queensland and R ocky C ape H utterites in Tasmania. While Quakers in the UK and USA have a tradition of forming rural communes starting from the seventeenth century, the first, and most important of such in Australia was F riends F arm, established in 1869 on what is now Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. This group was led by the charismatic Alfred Allen, a radical Quaker from Sydney. He believed that he had been reborn, held Christ within him, and had achieved sin‐free perfection. He was disowned, twice, by Sydney Quakers after when he led his small band of would‐be communards to the “wilderness” of Queensland where they sought to create a perfect society. Not surprisingly, it did not quite work out that way.
Journal of Religious History – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2018
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