GREAT AWAKENING DEFINITION
Enthusiastic renewal of Christianity
Based on European religious movement called pietism
Which stressed an individuals emotional devotion God
Religion became intensely personal
Worshipers became passionately and emotionally involved in their religion
And cultivated a personal relationship with God
As well as personal responsibility for one's own salvation.
Rather than passively listening to an intellectual sermon by a detached minister.
Stressed being "born again" and reuniting with God
FIRST GREAT AWAKENING (1730s - 1740s)
Height in 1740s (during colonial period)
Enlightenment, deism, Puritanism
But drew on Enlightened admiration for individualism and rejection of traditional authority (British rule)
Wrote "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God"
Based on Puritan/Congregationalist ideas
But preached personal salvation (a person can save themselves)
Puritanism = predestination.
Revivalist minister from Ireland who traveled throughout the colonies
More emotional than Edwards.
Edwards was based in Northampton Massachusetts
Whitefield traveled throughout the colonies.
Influenced the "backcountry"
In New England
It was influential among Congregationalists (Puritans)
In Middle and South Colonies
influential among Presbyterians.
New Lights and Old Lights
New Light ministers adopted the new style of emotional preaching
Old Lights ministers favored the traditional religious structure and less emotional sermons.
Established a sense of unity
Challenged power of priests (and by extension, British authority)
Rising membership in new religious denominations
Particularly southern Baptists (attracted African slaves)
SECOND GREAT AWAKENING (1790-1840s)
Height in 1830s
Industrial Revolution (1760-1820/40)
Also resulted from increasing political participation of common citizens.
People moving away from traditional homelands to frontier were searching for a sense of community.
Charles Grandison Finney
Western New York - the "Burned Over District" (along the Erie Canal)
Increased membership in new religious sects
Particularly Methodists and Baptists
But also Mormons, Seventh-Day Adventists and others.
Spirit of revival and morality resulted in a wave of social activism.
Both Great Awakenings spread through revivals
Large public meetings for preaching and prayer.
Both focused on an individual's relationship to God
Both Awakenings attracted more women than men
Both resulted in new Protestant denominations.