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- Please recall what Foner writes about the Great Awakening and the European Enlightenment. Refer to the text again if you need to. The more you know, the better you’ll fare in our discussion.
- Jonathan Edwards was the premier American preacher of the Great Awakening. His sermon “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” is perhaps the most famous sermon in American history. Read it HERE with a view to connecting what you find there to Foner’s description of the religious revival of the 18th century in America.
- Next, go HERE and read about Puritan apocalypticism This page is part of a larger website presented by PBS on Frontline’s video, Apocalypse. Please feel free to browse this site at your leisure. It mentions key figures in the Great Awakening and gives an overview of this key event from the eyes of several leading scholars in the field.
After your foray in the literature, please return here and answer the following questions by drawing effectively on the material you have just read in Foner and the above websites:
- What were the reasons for the revival movement known as the Great Awakening and its effect on colonial life? Provide and discuss at least 3 reasons for its rise.
- What is apocalypticism? Define it by referring to the Edward’s sermon, mentioned above. What apocalyptic passages in Edward’s sermon reflect this larger trend?
- Is there a particular American fascination with apocalypticism today, one that was recently triggered by the year 2000? And, if so, why? From a sociological point of view, why is apocalypticism so enduring?
- How do you explain the concurrent rise of The Great Awakening and the European Enlightenment in the 18th century? (First, be sure you know what each term means.) Explain by citing the historical record and applying sound reasoning.
Be sure to support all of your answers with cited examples from the Foner text (I will send it to you soon) and any other resources used in your answers.