FIRST GREAT AWAKENING ca. 1730-1760 Important points: • Calvinist in focus • Prompted by decreasing church attendance • Earliest intense period of evangelical Christianity in America • Utilized immediacy of gospel message to revive religious dedication in people • Itinerant preachers traveled to frontier outposts (w. NY, w. PA, rural GA) • Tension between itinerant preachers and settled ministers • Establishment of Radical Reformation ideas in the deep South and Midwest, via the Methodist and Baptist denominations. • The “Founding Fathers” of the generation of the American Revolution were, in most cases, reacting against what they saw as the emotionalism and irrationality of the First Great Awakening, embracing instead the primacy of human reason in Enlightenment-era philosophy Important figures: • George Whitefield (1714-1770) – prominent preacher in both England and the American colonies; especially important in history of religion in Georgia and the south. He was a skilled open-air preacher, able to preach to 10,000 and more
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