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Reviving Religion - Reviving Religion a Softening of...

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Reviving Religion a. Softening of Religion & Deism i. During the early to mid 1800s, religion wasn’t as “fire and brimstone” as in colonial days ii. Thomas Paine wrote The Age of Reason , in which he declared that all churches were “set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit” iii. Jefferson, Franklin and others supported the idea of Deism 1. Relied on reason/science rather than the Bible 2. However, they believed in a Supreme Being who had created a universe and endowed human beings with a capacity for moral behavior b. Unitarianism (New England – 18 th century) i. Believed that: 1. God existed in only one person, not the Trinity 2. Jesus wasn’t the son of God (deity – godness) 3. Stressed the goodness of human nature rather than its badness 4. Salvation through good works 5. Pictured God not as being stern, but as being loving ii. This appealed to intellectuals whose rationalism contrasted sharply with the hellfire doctrines of Calvinism/predestination c. Second Great Awakening i. Was one of the biggest religious revivals in American history, even bigger than the first one ii. Results were: 1. Converted many people 2. Shattered and reorganized churches 3. Numerous new sects 4. Missionary work increased (Indians & Hawaii) 5. Encouraged humanitarian reforms in: a. Prisons b. Temperance c. Women’s movement d. Abolitionism iii. It spread through camp meetings – many people would gather to hear a preacher. People would dance, shout, etc. d. Methodists and Baptists i. Gained the most members during this time ii. Emphasized personal conversion (rather than predestination)
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iii. Peter Cartwright – Methodist – one of the most famous traveling preachers (“circuit riders”). He converted many people while traveling from TN to IL e. Charles Grandison Finney i.
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