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Word Count: 1,193
Throughout the history of anthropology it has been a popular viewthat people are largely products of their culture and not the other wayaround Yet culture is an exclusively human phenomenon While it is truethat everyone lives within a cultural context and that context accountsfor varying degrees of who that person is indeed there are those who saythat certain people are wholly products of their culture the reverse isalso true Each person then has some degree of impact on the culturearound him or her The current culture of this country for example washugely shaped by the intellects and ideals of those who founded it even ofthe original European settlers Just as a person can be almost fullycreated by their culture so can a culture result almost fully from oneThere have been many cases of such things happening throughouthistory Some have met with success and some not For the purposes of thisessay I have chosen to examine one case which considering its sharpdeviation from the cultural context from which it came was surprisinglysuccessful The Oneida Community in Oneida New York was a uniquereligious communist society in the mid-nineteenth century The communitywas based on the radical religious beliefs and biblical interpretations ofNoyes grew up in a well to do household in Vermont He Graduatedfrom Dartmouth College in 1830 with high honors Up to that point he hadbeen cynically agnostic But in 1831 he attended a revival with his motherlead by Charles Finney the leader of a large religious movement in thenortheast Deeply moved he decided to enter the ministry Noyes attendedthe Andover Theological Seminary and Yale Divinity School It was at Yalethat he started developing his controversial views which then preventedhim from being ordained He decided that when one accepted Jesus that theywere then totally without sin and had achieved a state of spiritualperfection He also became convinced as he wrote in a letter to a friendthat he was Gods agent on Earth Returning to Vermont Noyes assembled
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