Throughout the course of the 17th century major changes were occurring in England. A change in the throne and a clash with the king was causing discontent among the people. This conflict was largely over the issue of religion and the lack of tolerance that the king had for those who believed differently than he did. Religious intolerance in England and other European countries led to the colonization of the New World for various reasons. In breaking free of the persecution, finding a home in America, and establishing their own colonies, the colonists shaped the modern American religious ideology.
The Second Great Awakening, the religious revivalist movement of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, ignited not only a religious revolution that transformed the American landscape, but it also developed and cemented the individualistic ideologies that have driven American thought in subsequent generations. At its core, the Second Great Awakening was a religious response to the uncertainty of the period. The nation at the time was redrawing its boundaries westward to accommodate the booming population. The established Protestant denominations of the day, the Congregationalists and Anglicans, had failed to create their much desired religious utopias and discontent in their traditional beliefs set in. Through the means of renewed religious enthusiasm, a movement spread throughout the young nation seeking to reverse the spiritual apathy that had set in many of its Christian adherents.
Individuals wanting religious tolerance that was different from the national religion began to cause tension within the country. One of the major religious conflicts between the Protestant and Catholics divided nations through Europe. As the Protestant Reformation spread to England, the tensions between the Protestants and Catholics quickly escalated all over the country. For England, the constant change of rulers altered the nation’s religion from Protestantism to Catholicism. Many people felt conflicted over which religion to practice with the fear of persecution by the crown.
The Significance of Radical Thought and Attitudes in the Civil War Period The Civil War caused turmoil and upheaval that affected every strand of life in England. It challenged and upturned the deeply ingrained feudal system with a Monarch as the head of all moral, spiritual and governmental life, and moved thought and order towards new democratic ideas and systems of rule. This period saw a new experimentation in ideas and attitudes among the population, which was not welcomed by many. As Christopher Hill writes "What was new in the 17 centaury was the idea that the world might be permanently turned upside down". In the wake of Charles's regicide there was a "popular mid-seventeenth-centaury belief that the establishment of a prefect society was imminent" (coward).
Puritan society believed strongly in myth, magic, and religious superstitions that was immensely used by the Puritans before democracy, capitalism, and the scientific revolution gave rise from the Enlightenment period. First, the religious philosophies between these ages of thinking were very radical for their time in history which eventually discarded the old ideas and beliefs of Puritanism into more modern ideas and reasoning of the Enlightenment. Writing was a principle of social philosophy that both ages conflicted with due to the differences of how and what they wrote about religion. In John Edwards’ “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God”, he wrote and instilled fear to those who were thinking of moving away from Puritan teachings by saying that God will have wrath to those who didn’t glorify him which caused some Puritans to revert to the old teachings rather than the new ideas of religion. On the contrary, writings ... ... middle of paper ... ...een altered since then.
The Enlightenment theory added to the oppression of British rule led to a revolution. Although not as significant as the Enlightenment, the Great Awakening still had a deep impact on colonial society. Primarily, the conflict that arose between the religious revivalists and ultimately ended in a split in the evangelical group changed the face of religion in the British colonies. The New Light revivalists spawned such denominations as Baptist and Methodist, which differed in the old lights beliefs in doctrine and matters of faith. These new sects resulted in a stronger tolerance toward religious diversity.
Afterward in his argument, McLoughlin writes" As the opinion (the great awakening) spread after 1742 throughout the colonies, many came to believe that Americans could not effectively fulfill this mission so long as they were tied to a corrupt, oppressive, and tyrannical monarch and Parliament in England " The general effect of this Great Awakening had the outcome that the colonies were able to develop a new kind of neocolonial unity. This could have also been part of the resistance to the laws and such if the British. Lastly, McLoughlin says that the revolution in a way can be described as the political revitalization of a people whose religious regeneration began in the Great Awakening.
Even though the First and Second Great Awakenings focused its attention on other matters of life later on, religion was the theme upon which they were built. The First Great Awakening started among the American colonial Protestants during the early 1700s, mainly due to the weakening of the strict Puritan tradition of religious doctrine, and in part, the religious decline caused by negative publicity from the Salem witch trials and the Enlightenment (www.wikipedia.org). The movement to correct these problems began with Jonathan Edwards, a strictly Puritan, orthodox theologian from Massachusetts who dedicated his time to bringing the people back to the strict Calvinist roots, and to reawaken the fear of God' (www.wikipedia.org). He was a powerful speaker, and preached to his large followings that it was to simply come to church was not enough to be saved, but they must also acknowledge their grievances in the heart, and feel God's love for them (Danzer, 38). He set off the wave of religious revival, as preachers traveled all across the colonies, attracted thousands of people to revival meetings of spiritual rebirth, gave impassioned sermons, and encouraged people to rededicate themselves to God (Danzer, 38).
The Second Great Awakening was a powerful religious revival during the mid 1800s, lead by the preacher Charles G. Finney. Common beliefs and traditional customs were challenged as Americans explored new ideas of a religious lifestyle and morals. Expression within such environments mimicked societal ideals of increasing civil rights, and sought purity by avoiding misbehavior from intoxication. As a result, movements such as those against alcohol consumption and slave ownership became a controversial part of the search for utopia. The Second Great Awakening inspired several movements including the movement for abolitionism and the movement for temperance in society in the Northern region of the United States.
Iconnoclasm and Iconophilia in Othello In his book War Against the Idols, Carlos Eire argues that iconoclastic resistance to the Medieval Catholic Church began with the gentle scolding of Erasmus and ended as the "shibboleth" of radical Calvinism.1 The use of images in religious instruction and practice was one of the major points of dispute between Protestant reformers and Catholic counter-reformers. Iconoclasm was certainly not confined to radical Calvinism; Anglican reformers, especially those who had spent time in continental Europe as exiles (like John Jewel, Bishop of Salisbury), quickly raised the issue in their country, which had its own unique history of religious reform. The discussions of image and idolatry in Calvin and Jewel represent particular theories of the image that derive from but also revise ancient Platonic theories of the image. Reformation iconoclasm brings up issues of ontology (who or what is God? ), epistemology (by what means are we to know him?