Matt Perkins has a new post about Mary Lapp, the Reader movement, pietism, and Laestadianism out on his blog this morning. I think it's worth checking out.
Lapin Maija, by Matt Perkins
Since I finished reading Lars Levi Laestadius and the Revival in Lapland, by Warren H. Hepokoski I've gotten more interested in the Reader movement. Many of the on-line sources place Laestadius within the Reader context. What I find fascinating about the Readers are the extremes of their belief, with Hepokoski reporting that some Readers actually thought they were Jesus Christ, and that their pronouncements superceded Scripture.
The more I read about Laestadian history, the more I can sympathize with why Laestadius would start his movement, but I also sympathize with why the established church found it so troubling. It's fun to imagine myself back in the 1850s in Finland. Would I be a Reader, a Laestadian, or would I support the state church? Would I come to the same conclusions my ancestors did?