The Great Awakening, By Jonathan Edwards And Benjamin Franklin Essay

1739 WordsSep 28, 20167 Pages
Religion is a moral code essential to humanity, but it is not the only moral option. Throughout much of history, religion has had a monopoly on what is defining what is morality. However, that monopoly has been destroyed many times. In the 16th century, Martin Luther tore apart the Catholic Church, and in the 17th century, the Age of Reason arose. Two authors who exemplify these two historical events, respectively, are Jonathan Edwards and Benjamin Franklin. Jonathan Edwards was brought up on deeply Calvinist and Lutheran teachings, and was one of the many people responsible for The Great Awakening in America. Benjamin Franklin, although he was also brought up on Calvinist teachings, chose to develop his religious beliefs around reason and argument. The differences and similarities between the religious experiences of Benjamin Franklin and Jonathan Edwards include the way they questioned Christianity, the way in which they viewed themselves, and the way in which they behaved. These traits bear scrutinization for examining how different moral codes may have vastly different effects.. Although both Franklin and Edwards were raised in religious households, their response, from childhood to adulthood, to their religious teachings was vastly different. Being the grandson, and only male offspring, to “one of the most influential and independent figures in the religious life of New England”(Edwards 396), Reverend Solomon Stoddard, the religious expectations upon Jonathan Edwards
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