The Shakers were ever changing their policies and daily practices. To imagine that the Shakers never changed or did so reluctantly is to rob Shakerism of its dynamism for the sake of obtaining easy characterizations. An excellent example of Shaker willingness to innovate and adapt to changing circumstances may be found in the development of the Shaker Gathering Order. A full treatment of its history provides many ways through which to examine the ever-living, vital Shaker religion.
American Communal Societies Quarterly