Great Awakening Reasons for Great Awakening

Dr. Purushothaman
October 5, 2013

By definition, the Great awakening was a kind of spiritual renewal that tended to sweep across the American colonies and more so the New England during the 18th century. Generally, this kind of revolution began in England before spreading its wings across the Atlantic. The reasons as to why there was this kind of revolution was to make the colonists realize the people had the religious power rather than having only the church of England or any other kind of religious authority. The periods in the 18th century represented some major turning points in the experience of America. This period also was a major offshoot of what can be said as a transatlantic revival of piety and we can say that it represents the modern church.
The second great awakening, which came in the early 18th century, was to make a major mark or an emphasis on personal piety over theology and schooling and this rose in several points or places and in several forms. The awakening was to challenge the status quo, and more so, the existing structures of the religious as well as the social authority. There was the essence to make men and women of all regions and of all demographics to reinforce their localist values. There was also the need to overshadow the political revolutions with spiritual matters because the latter meant a lot to the living of human beings than the political revolutions. Since before then there was a vague understanding of God, there was need to make impact on this critical issue, and that is why it was highly needed to have a revolution of a kind in religious matters. More or less, it was a Christian revolution where, they could then base their beliefs in an existing God and a belief on Jesus Christ their savior.
How and Impacts of Great Awakening of 18th Century
The great awakening of 18th century had some great impacts and this depended on how it was carried out. As we had noted earlier, this revolution started in England, and then swept across the Atlantic and this revivalism indeed ushered in a new kind of awakening that made it possible to bring back the people to what can be called the spiritual life and a great feeling of having a close association and intimacy with God. It has also been argued that this revolution had a great significance in preparing America for the war of independence from its colonial masters. Before this could happen, this awakening taught people that they can be bold on themselves when they were to confront the religious authorities that existed then. The people thereafter had the independence of breaking the conformity in religious terms and come up with new form of churches, which they could make as their own rather than the dictated ones.
Before then, there was a vague understanding of what Christianity was, but after this, people now had Christianity in them with some interior transformations being the case. However, even though this revolution was meant for all kind of religious people and churches, it significantly affected the Presbyterians who were in the middle of colonies and the Congregationalists in New England. In the northern part of the colonies, this revolution lasted for close to three years and had a great impact or caused many ripples. People went from the coldness that was exhibited in the religions and the kind of deistic rationalism that had prevailed for a long to some new and dynamic methods of worship. That in essence brought a kind of feeling that God was really part of the human living.

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