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Beyond TolerationThe Religious Origins of American Pluralism$
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Chris Beneke

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195305555

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2006

DOI: 10.1093/0195305558.001.0001

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 Partial Judgments and Divided Churches

 Partial Judgments and Divided Churches

America's First Great Awakening

(p.49) 2 Partial Judgments and Divided Churches
Beyond Toleration

Chris Beneke (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on the disruptive religious revivals of the 1740s and 1750s, known as the First Great Awakening. It explores how the impressive mobility and astonishing popularity of itinerant ministers gave new meaning to the right of private judgment. It also documents the rash of revival-inspired church separations, which broadened the range of religious alternatives and undermined traditional religious authority. The travails of a humble minister named Ebenezer Parkman dramatize the sometimes painful consequences of religious diversity, as well as its liberating possibilities.

Keywords:   revivals, First Great Awakening, itinerant ministers, mobility, private judgment, church separations, religious diversity, religious authority

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