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The Enlightenment vs. The Great Awakening
Transcript of The Enlightenment vs. The Great Awakening
In the late 17th century, scientists like Isaac Newton and philosophers like John Locke were challenging the ways of society.
Newton described the world in terms of natural laws beyond any spiritual force.
Locke asserted the right of a people to change a government that did not protect natural rights of life, liberty and property.
People were beginning to doubt the existence of a God who could predestine human beings to eternal damnation and empower a tyrant for a king.
The old way of life was represented by superstition, an angry God, and absolute submission to authority. The thinkers of the Age of Reason ushered in a new way of thinking. This new way championed the accomplishments of humankind.
The Great Awakening
Many ministers in the 13 colonies were disturbed by colonists' lack of religious activity and church attendance following the Enlightenment.
In the 1730s, a religious revival swept through the British American colonies called the Great Awakening as a reaction to the Enlightenment.
The Great Awakening
George Whitefield and Jonathan Edwards were two of the leading ministers of the Great Awakening.
Whitefield and Edwards preached of God as mighty, powerful, and wrathful.
They wanted people to know what it was like to be at God's mercy.
There sermons used guilt and fear to persuade colonists to come back to God.
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Effects of the Great Awakening
Prior to the Great awakening, colonists had just a few churches to choose to attend.
The Great Awakening caused the creation of many new churches that we are now familiar with today like:
This increase in the number of choices for church led to an increased sense of religious freedom and religious tolerance.