First Great Awakening Research Paper

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The decline of Calvinism during the First Great Awakening yielded a more individualistic view of salvation and religion as a whole, inevitably resulting in new interpretations of Puritanism. Before the First Great Awakening began, the Massachusetts Bay Colony experienced a decline in religion between 1700 and 1725. The colonists viewed the ministers as too formal and lacking religion of the heart. However, beginning around the 1730s, the revival brought a new style of emotional, oratory preaching, which argued that everyone was damned unless he/she repented. This introduced the question “what can I do to be saved?” The mere asking of this question signified one’s deviation from the Calvinist principle of predestination towards the Arminian belief that one could save himself/herself. …show more content…

Following a period of religious decline in the early 1700s, the strong emotions that accompanied a revival left Puritans with a longing to “share [their] joy and tell [their] experience to others.” The “individual freedom and fraternal union went hand in hand.” The act of communicating with fellow Puritans compelled the realization of common beliefs between one another. These new conversations allowed personal religion interpretations to form without the worry of being considered a dishonorable Puritan. Additionally, the nature of individual conversions that accompanied the First Great Awakening signified the focus of Puritanism shifting away from “purifying” the Anglican Church and towards establishing a personal relationship with God. The new communicative element of the First Great Awakening was significant in its role of expanding religious pluralism in the Massachusetts Bay Colony; however, the unpredictable nature of the time period led many others to cling to old

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