Great Awakenings, The

These notable periods of revival in religious participation spread throughout North America, often into Britain and some other regions. Profound conviction of sin and assurance of salvation was experienced by many, with the emphasis on personal Christian experience (direct connection to God) rather than the church dogma and doctrine that had been traditionally preached.

New denominations formed, missionary endeavours started, and the gospel had an outlet in social reform and good works. Differing religious views and debate splintered many established churches.

The First Great Awaking in America was from about 1730 to 1743. Jonathan Edwards and George Whitefield were two key evangelists God used to bring many into a conversion experience. John and Charles Wesley were instrumental too.

Charles Finney was a leader in The Second Great Awaking, which was sustained from around 1790 until the late 1840’s. A Third is considered to have occurred from 1850-1900. In the 1960’s-1970’s there was what has been called the Charismatic renewal in many Western countries when Pentecostal church attendances flourished at the expense of the mainline churches.

See also: Edwards, Finney, revival, Wesley, Whitefield.


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