Revivals, Awakenings, and Reform (Chicago History of American Religion)

19 Nov

Revivals, Awakenings, and Reform (Chicago History of American Religion)

Revivals, Awakenings, and Reform (Chicago History of American Religion)

William Gerald McLoughlin

Language: English

Pages: 256


Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Publish Year note: First published in 1978

In Revivals, Awakenings, and Reform, McLoughlin draws on psychohistory, sociology, and anthropology to examine the relationship between America's five great religious awakenings and their influence on five great movements for social reform in the United States. He finds that awakenings (and the revivals that are part of them) are periods of revitalization born in times of cultural stress and eventuating in drastic social reform. Awakenings are thus the means by which a people or nation creates and sustains its identity in a changing world.

"This book is sensitive, thought-provoking and stimulating. It is 'must' reading for those interested in awakenings, and even though some may not revise their views as a result of McLoughlin's suggestive outline, none can remain unmoved by the insights he has provided on the subject."—Christian Century

"This is one of the best books I have read all year. Professor McLoughlin has again given us a profound analysis of our culture in the midst of revivalistic trends."—Review and Expositor














revitalization movements were thus embedded in this earliest awakening. That the Puritan Awakening started America on a different road from England can be seen in the facts that England still has a Crown, its church is still established, and its bishops still sit in the House of Lords. Embedded also in the Puritan movement were the ideals of a congregational church polity, a voluntary church membership, a justification for the priesthood of all believers (the right of the laity to prophesy), and

urban and industrial problems were minimal and temporary. Professional revivalism of this sort was an effective stress-relief mechanism for the majority in these years. Until the 1890s evangelists (and their audiences) continued to believe complacently that this was the best of all possible worlds; God was in his heaven, and all was right with America. Nevertheless, tensions continued to grow. The old answers became less and less convincing. Men did not easily rise to the top or avoid poverty

"BURliNGTON IS DRY: BIllY SUNDAY HAS MADE GRAVEYARD OF ONCE FASI'TOWN." The muckraker, Ray Stannard Baker, in a book entitled The Spiritual Unrest, in 1910 noted that many church leaders in midwestern cities were enthusiastically supponing Sunday's revival campaigns because they felt he would help reform their city in one way or another. After his revival in Pittsburgh in 1914 a newspaper headline said, "What Years of Reform Work Could Not Do, He Has Wrought in a Few Shon Weeks." In 148

fertility begotten of the corrected process of culture itself. We conquer by submission. but we conquer. 157 The Third Great Awakening, 1890-1920 In Bascom's reinterpretation of the Protestant ethic and the doctrine of the free and morally responsible individual, men grow spiritually by asserting self-control over their crude, undeveloped, animal natures. Social science tells us what God's moral laws are so that we can discipline ourselves by submitting to them. "Growth is a spiritual

harmonious cooperation among men and pragmatic solutions to problems in a peaceful, democratic manner would in effect approach the millennial ideal. Like the religious reformers, Dewey believed that "We must work on the environment, not merely on the heart of men. " The phrase, "the heart of men," was typical of Dewey's willingness to speak in the accents of Liberal Protestantism. Furthermore, he seems to have resented, as many lapsed Protestants did, those who spoke of humanists and

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