The separatists of Michael J. Lewis's subtitle are those utopianists who saw “no hope for reforming a wicked world” and so chose to withdraw from it (10). Unlike adherents of the main strand of utopian thought, which “aspires to perfect the world,” Lewis's protagonists accepted that the world “cannot be made perfect” and established sanctuaries from it (10), the “cities of refuge” of his title. There is, Lewis writes, a “distinct and unbroken intellectual tradition” of such separatist sanctuaries; the “living continuity of that tradition” is his principal theme (11).

The book is rather narrowly focused on a “German intellectual-theological tradition” that produced settlements with a “formal geometric...

You do not currently have access to this content.