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Revivals, Awakenings, and Reform (Chicago History of American Religion) New edition Edition
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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.Read more ›
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.