Evangelicalism Essay

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Evangelicalism did not evolve or operate in a space. It is essential to consider the ways in which members of this group participated in and changed their culture, and, conversely, to assess how its social context provided both the ideas which evangelicalism adopted or transformed and those which it actively rejected or resisted. As movements that came of age during the first half of the nineteenth century, Evangelical Protestantism can be understood most clearly in the political, economic, and religious contexts of post-revolutionary American society. Although the movement would come to effect profound changes in its society it was very much in a sense that the culture had grown ripe for its emergence. The tension between
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Somewhat ironically, many of these social organizations took as their immediate goal the uplifting of individuals. The focus of individual advancement and social responsibility found greatest expression, however, in a religious uprising that shook the country during the early nineteenth century. The basis of this religious transformation can be found in the longing of many people for an intensity of spiritual experience.
The Second Great Awakening and Rise of Evangelicalism
Transformations in American economics, politics and intellectual culture found their parallel in a transformation of American religion in the decades following independence. As a result, the United States underwent a widespread flowering of religious sentiment and unprecedented expansion of church membership known as the Second Great Awakening. The Awakening lasted some 50 years, from the 1790s to the 1840s, and spanned the entire United States. The religious revitalization that the Awakening represented manifested itself in different ways according to the local population and church establishment, but was definitely a Protestant phenomenon. Methodist and Baptist denominations experienced a surge of membership, often at the expense of other denominations, prompting a move toward liberalization and competitiveness on the part of the Anglican, Presbyterian and Congregationalist churches. The numerical success of
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