The Kingdom Of Matthias Analysis

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The Kingdom of Matthias, by Paul E. Johnson, is a dramatic tale about how religion was abused in early 19th century America. It focuses on The Kingdom of Matthias, a religious cult with dark secrets and beginnings. Matthews, the self proclaimed “Matthias the Prophet”, founded this extremist society in New York in the 1830’s by using the funds of his most loyal follower, Elijah Pierson, who’s life goal changed from gaining wealth to devoting his life to religion. Matthews managed to attract many followers into his “Kingdom” ranging from Benjamin and Ann Folger, a wealthy couple, to Isabella Van Wagenen, an ex-slave. Inside The Kingdom, many scandalous events took place such as possible murders, wife-swapping based on spiritual causes, and a sickening relationship between Matthews and his followers. The main theme that is conveyed is that religion was used as an excuse to be unethical. This theme is associated with The Second Great Awakening, which sparked the outburst of revival churches and self-proclaimed prophets in America in the early 19th century, due to the mass decline of classic Christianity. The unethical practices that happened in The Kingdom were based on three major topics: personal misfortune, extreme patriarchy, and sexual desire.…show more content…
Matthews had many close family members pass away throughout his life prior to The Kingdom, which inflicted him with trauma. Matthews also started to have “visions” which led him to become clinically insane and obsessed with his religious views. Pierson also had a traumatic life before The Kingdom caused mainly by the death of his wife, whom he tried to raise from the dead at her funeral. It is clear that both of these men’s extreme religious beliefs mixed with personal misfortunes were major causes to such a twisted

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