Type of Document Dissertation Author McCook, Matt Collin URN etd-08282005-024517 Title Aliens in the World: Sectarians, Secularism and the Second Great Awakening Degree Doctor of Philosophy Department History, Department of Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Neil Jumonville Committee Chair Albrecht Koschnik Committee Member Amanda Porterfield Committee Member Elna Green Committee Member Thomas Joiner Committee Member Keywords
- Social Reform
Date of Defense 2005-08-18 Availability unrestricted AbstractABSTRACT
The association of an otherworldly impulse with the Second Great Awakening and the study of sectarianism in the Jacksonian period have long been overlooked by scholars. Most have associated the awakening with evangelicalsí social and moral reform efforts or with Christian political mobilization because their attention has been focused on settled or maturing religious groups. Without question the awakening inspired many Christians to establish reform societies whose purpose was to turn the United States into a Godly evangelical empire. However, the awakening also resulted in the creation of several new religious sects who rejected these efforts. The Disciples of Christ, or Churches of Christ, the Millerites, the Mormons and the Hicksite Quakers do not fit typical characterizations of the awakening. They tried in various ways to remain unblemished by the world rather than expending their energies trying to perfect it. As sectarians in their initial stage of religious development they focused more on rewards in the next life than on comfort and conquest in this one. An analysis of their views on politics, social reform and economics suggests that the Second Great Awakening inspired an otherworldly outlook among sectarians even while it nurtured a reform impulse among denominations. The fact that American Transcendentalists, who were engaged in a separate literary, intellectual and spiritual movement, had similar attitudes toward politics, social reform and economics further suggests that the otherworldly outlook was pervasive in Jacksonian America.
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