Studying the bible being more pious than others etc

This preview shows page 38 - 39 out of 40 pages.

studying the Bible, being more pious than others, etc., were all seen as signs that perhaps an individual was among the few selectedto be saved, and manyparticularly in New Englandstrived to demonstrate their alleged salvation.But by 1700, religion on the whole was no longer taken as seriously, for several reasons. Colonial wealth was increasing and so weretemptations to live a less godly life. Too many churchgoers were said to be “only going through the motions,” without real faith. Inshort, economic prosperity resulted in a decline of religiosity. Another cause of declining religiosity was the Enlightenment, whichemphasized questioning/skepticism, rationalism, and deism, a “rational religion” free of mysteries, miracles, and superstitions.Into this atmosphere came a movement from Germany (through print culture and German migrants), called Pietism, whichemphasized ideas similar to that of the Puritans in the 17thcentury. These ideas about piety and religiosity sparked a religious revivalin the Americas that historians call the Great Awakening, which eventually spread to all of the 13 colonies throughout the 1730s and‘40s. Those who joined the movement opposed the Enlightenment for its “dangerous” ideas, and criticized the spirit of “over-indulgence” that characterized the prosperous colonies, hoping to bring back the doctrines of their Puritan ancestors.The Great Awakening was characterized by high emotionalism; new preachers gave powerful sermons where they yelled, moaned,cried, convulsed, etc., to deepen followers’ awareness of their sin and open them to the possibility of being “reborn” as a new andbetter person of faith. Great Awakening preachers achieved great fame, moving from town to town and speaking in front ofthousands that gathered, reviving religious fervor among those who had strayed from the church. Ultimately, the Great Awakeningpulled away from ritual, ceremony, sacramentalism, predestination, and hierarchy, making Christianity intensely personal to theaverage person by fostering a deep sense of spiritual conviction and redemption, and by encouraging introspection and acommitment to a new standard of personal morality.Those most affected by the Great Awakening said they felt a “New Light” within them and were eager to spread the messages ofthemovement. They spoke out against the “Old Lights,” those that were “passionless” and “unconverted” to the “reborn.” Theevangelical New Lights set up their own schools and churches throughout the colonies (Princeton was one example), while Old Lightsrefused to accept this new style of worship. Despite the conflict, one surprising result was greater religious toleration. With so manynew denominations, it was clear that no one religion would dominate any region.The Great Awakening is sometimes viewed as a long-term cause of the Revolution. Before the Awakening, ministers represented anupper class of sorts. The revivals as a whole led people to become more critical of their local religious leaders, who were seen as too

Upload your study docs or become a

Course Hero member to access this document

Upload your study docs or become a

Course Hero member to access this document

End of preview. Want to read all 40 pages?

Upload your study docs or become a

Course Hero member to access this document

Term
Fall
Professor
N/A
Tags
Thirteen Colonies

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture