"religious thought in america: the first two great awakenings" the second great awakening


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  • Slide 1
  • "Religious Thought in America: The First Two Great Awakenings" The Second Great Awakening
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  • Why are there so many churches in the 21 st century United States? Where did the various denominations come from? What happened during the 19 th century to give birth to many groups that remain with us still? A Second Great Awakening evolved at the dawn of the 19 th century. Below, we will examine its causes, its characteristics, and its consequences.
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  • What Was the Great Awakening? As a religious revival, the Second Great Awakening was even more intense [than the First Great Awakening]** and helped to galvanize the abolitionist movement.... 'More raw emotional release and more frenzy' characterized this second wave of revivalism.... 'Testifying' was born. Tears flowed. Pioneers of the Great Religious Reformation of the Nineteenth Century
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  • In 1800 only about 1 in 15 Americans was a church member. By 1850 one out of every seven belonged to a church, many of which were in the mid and deep South, the gateway to the frontier, and an area soon to become known as the Bible Belt. By the 1830s and '40s this religious fervor was being channeled into the abolitionist crusade. 12-C
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  • Causes and Characteristics12-C Meeting Social Needs of the Frontier: "Highly emotional camp meetings, organized usually by Methodists or Baptists, soon became a regular feature of religious life in the South and the lower Midwest. On the frontier, the camp meeting met social as well as religious needs. In the sparsely settled southern backcountry, it was difficult to sustain local churches with regular ministers.... For many people the only way to get baptized, married, or have a communal religious experience was to attend a camp meeting."
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  • Needs Fulfilled by the Second Great Awakening** Provided Stability, Spiritual Comfort Provided an Emotional Outlet for Lonely Tedious Lives Promoted a Sense of Community and Social Discipline Outlet for Individualism
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  • Methodists Solution** John Wesley, Founder of Methodism The circuit rider
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  • Baptist Solution** The lay preacher licensing of uneducated farmers to preach to neighbors
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  • Location of the Movement Began on Southern Frontier**
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  • The Northern Awakening** Denominational Balance: Most were Congregationalists and Presbyterians who were strongly influenced by the Puritan traditions of New England Less Emotional and More Even- Tempered Than in the South Evolution of the Movement into Impetus for Social Reform
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  • Who Was Influenced** Most of the converts of northern revivalism were middle class citizens already active in the lives of their communities. They were seeking to adjust to the bustling world of the market revolution in ways that would not violate their traditional moral and social values. Their generally optimistic and forward-looking attitudes led to hopes that a wave of conversion would save the nation and the world
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  • Evils Attacked by the Movement** Dueling Gambling Drinking alcoholic beverages (right) Slavery (lower right) Prostitution
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  • Rise of Missionarism** Christian missionaries at work in the South Pacific (upper left) and in Japan (lower left). Communities and religious colleges produced too many preachers for home congregations. Most missionaries came out of New England. These surplus preachers had to do something, so they went among the heathen to convert, both on the American frontier and in foreign countries.
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  • Religious Figures of the Era Timothy Dwight, 1752-1817** grandson of Jonathan Edwards Congregationalist from Northampton, Massachusetts Yale he began a revival, which soon spread to other colleges
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  • The Campbells Father (left, Thomas) and son (right, Alexander) combination that founded the Church of Christ**
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  • Also Contributing was... Barton Stone, 1772-1844** The Campbells merged with followers of Barton Stone in 1832
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  • Alexander Campbell Goal of His New Demonination ** He and his father broke with the Presbyterian Church and sought to promote an ecumenical coming together of true believers who wished to return to the primitive Christian beliefs.
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  • Lyman Beecher (1775-1863) He was the first great practitioner of the new evangelical Puritanism... [and] helped to promote a series of revivals in the Congregational churches of New England.... [He developed] his own homespun version of Taylor's doctrine of free agency.**
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  • Charles G. Finney (1792-1875) He worked within Congregational and Presbyterian churches Finney was relatively indifferent to theological issues Finney was relatively indifferent to theological issues. His appeal was to emotion or to the heart rather than to doctrine or reason**
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  • Hallmark of the Second Great Awakening The Camp Meeting**
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  • The Circuit Riders Routine The Methodists (founder John Wesley) were the foremost religion of the frontier Itinerant preachers rode horses from town to town and church to church to preach and convert Towns would be visited by the preacher once every three or four weeks**
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  • The Adventist Movement Vermont Baptist William Miller preached the imminent return of Jesus When Millers prediction for 1843 and again 1844 failed Nevertheless, Millers work led to the popularity of Second Coming preaching known as Adventism**
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  • Founder of 7th-Day Adventism** Ellen G. White, 1827- 1915 she produced 40 books and 5,000 articles. The Great Controversy Between Christ and Satan, 1886
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  • Surplus of Ministers Produced Communities and religious colleges produced too many preachers for home congregations. Most missionaries came out of New England. These surplus preachers had to do something, so they went among the heathen to convert, both on the American frontier and in foreign countries**
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  • Romanticism and Egalitarian Democracy The abandonment of Predestination and acceptance of universalism mirrors the increasing egalitarian spirit and extension of the right to vote in America, especially on the frontier. Romanticism, with its view of man as essentially good and God as a positive, enriching force, helped Americans to abandon Predestination as well.**
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  • Assessing the Impact of Second Great Awakening French traveler Alexis de Tocqueville (1805- 1859, left) could marvel at the power of Christian faith and morality in a land without an established church He noted that voluntaristic religion produced moral and law-abiding citizens without the need of governmental coercion


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