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Revivals, Awakenings, and Reform (Chicago History of American Religion) Paperback – August 15, 1980

ISBN-13: 978-0226560922 ISBN-10: 0226560929 Edition: New edition

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Product Details

  • Series: Chicago History of American Religion
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: The University of Chicago Press; New edition edition (August 15, 1980)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226560929
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226560922
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #227,807 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

The late William G. McLoughlin was professor of history at Brown University, a Guggenheim fellow, a fellow at the Charles Warren Center, and a senior fellow of the National Humanities Foundation. His works include Modern Revivalism: Charles Grandeson Finney to Billy Graham and Isaac Backus and the American Pietistic Tradition.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By James R. Rohrer on June 4, 2008
William McLoughlin was one of the most important scholars of American religious history during his long academic career. A Christian, he produced many seminal works on church and state relations, American evangelicalism, and 19th century missions. In this essay, which he wrote in the midst of the cultural turmoil of the early 1970s, he attempted to interpret the history of American culture through the lens of Anthropologist Anthony F. C. Wallace's work on Revitalization Movements. At the risk of greatly over-simplifying a complex argument, Wallace suggested that cultures periodically experience periods of crisis when social, economic, and political arrangements no longer conform to deeply held cultural norms. When efforts to fix society through established means fail to achieve success, people frequently turn to charismatic movements that provide them with a new worldview that integrates the traditional symbols of the culture with the new social realities. These "revitalization movements" are the means by which cultural traditions are preserved through all the changes of historical development.

McLoughlin asked whether or not the history of the United States fit Wallace's model, and hypothesized that periodic mass religous movements (Awakenings)in America, from the colonial era up to the 1970s, have indeed functioned as revitalization movements. In his introduction he admits that his essay is theoretical and especially in the final chapter highly speculative rather than a work of empirical history.

Far from being "biased" toward social reform, as one reviewer has stated, McLoughlin's whole point was that Awakenings are broader than revivals, and that religious awakenings are indeed the master key for understanding the process of cultural change in America.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Simon St.Laurent on January 4, 2005
I ordered this because I wanted to know more about the dynamics of earlier revival moments - the First and Second Great Awakenings, and the Social Gospel movement of the early 20th century. I definitely got that, as McLoughlin traced how these bursts of faith reflected changes in the underlying society. A bonus was McLoughlin's discussion of how slavery affected religious perspectives in the American South.

McLoughlin's bias throughout the book seems pretty clearly toward social reform rather than "inward and personal holiness". As the book continues, it becomes clearer and clearer that he prefers reformers who want to apply Christ's teachings more broadly. At the end of the book, after an interesting look at how beatniks and hippies fit into American religious patterns, this leads him into a serious misprojection of where the "Fourth Great Awakening" he sees starting after World War II will lead the country. He forecasts change further away from the fundamentalist perspective, and political change to match, but the world seems to have gone the opposite way.
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Very interesting book, helpful for the US History AP. Rich, informative, a little heavy, but not dry. Arrived fast and in excellent condition.
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By Yoon Kim on July 23, 2014
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excellent
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