Love, sex, & family: radical revisionings of the Oneida community

Cathryn Czernicki

Document Type Honors Thesis (Open Access)


The Oneida Community and Oneida philosophy have attracted much attention throughout history. People have been interested in the Oneida Community because of what were considered its "outrageous" social and sexual practices. The message behind Oneida, however, was just as radical. The founder, creator, and leader of Oneida, John Humphrey Noyes, expressed a religious belief in Perfectionism. Noyes preached, "He that committeth sin is of the devil"?. Noyes's literal interpretation of that text is what made his message different and strange. Noyes believed that humans could live in a state of sinlessness. The Oneida Community espoused a way of life, laid out by Noyes, that would maintain such a life of sinlessness.