the Methodists banned female preaching, and in 1764 a Herrnhutter synod explicitly forbade women from all governing offices except the most minor, noting that this would help them control their 'desire for [masculine] power [Herrnsucht]'. Zinzendorf himself criticized Erdmuthe for her independence, which he called pride. His second wife was a much younger woman who had long been his travelling companion. Gottfried Arnold, a Pietist himself and one of the few eighteenth-century historians sympathetic to individuals outside of the established churches, wrote that women had to be particularly careful if they were religious individualists, since Satan could easily lead them from religious freedom to sexual license. Those Pietist and Methodist historians who included women such as Johanna Petersen, Erdmuthe von Zinzendorf, or Susanna Wesley in their histories were careful to describe them as 'helpmates'.

Shakers - officially the United Society of Believers in Christ's Second Appearing- had no such reservations. They first began in the 1740s around Manchester in England, and in 1758, Ann Lee (1736-84) joined and became the leader. Lee was a visionary and mystic, whose followers regarded her as the second coming of Christ. God, in their eyes, was both female and male, so that Christ's second coming would have to be in a female body. Her visions also told her that sexuality was depraved, and her followers swore celibacy and chastity. She and her followers were severely persecuted, and in 1774, she led eight of them to the American Colonies. Persecution continued, however, and she died as the result of beatings. Despite - or perhaps because of - their advocacy of celibacy, the Shakers continued to win followers. At their peak, about 1830, American Shakers may have numbered 6,000 people.

The Shakers were not the only radical or Pietist group to develop unusual ideas about sexuality or distinctive systems of marriage. Such groups did not regard marriage as a sacrament - most rejected the idea of sacraments completely - but they placed more emphasis on its spiritual nature than did Lutherans or Calvinists. Marriage was a covenant - a contract - between a man and a woman based on their membership in the body of believers, and thus was linked to their redemption. Because of this the group as a whole or at least its leaders should have a say in marital choice, broadening the circle of consent far beyond the parental consent required by Luther, Calvin, and other less radical reformers. Quakers who wished to marry had to produce a certificate stating that both parties were Quakers or risk expulsion. Moravians in Pennsylvania were segregated by sex until marriage. When a man wished to marry, he came to the Elders' Conference, which proposed a possible spouse. Three coloured ballots standing for 'yes', 'no', and 'wait' were placed in a box, and one was drawn, which was regarded as the 'Saviour's decision'. Along with the Shakers,

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