What was it like to live through an extraordinary time?
The 1740s and 1750s proved to be an extraordinary time for many ordinary New Englanders. It was a period when itinerant preachers swept through the region and asked its people to question the fundamental assumptions of their religion: What did it mean to be a Puritan? What did it mean to be a Protestant Christian?
Douglas Winiarski, a Professor of American Studies and Religious Studies at the University of Richmond and the author of the Bancroft prize-winning book, Darkness Falls on the Land of Light: Experiencing Religious Awakenings in Eighteenth-Century New England, helps us explore the religious landscape of New England during the 18th century and how New Englanders answered these powerful questions during the extraordinary period known as the Great Awakening.
About the Show
Ben Franklin’s World is a podcast about early American history.
It is a show for people who love history and for those who want to know more about the historical people and events that have impacted and shaped our present-day world.
Each episode features a conversation with a historian who helps us shed light on important people and events in early American history.
Ben Franklin’s World is a production of the Omohundro Institute.
Douglas Winiarski, a Professor of American Studies and Religious Studies at the University of Richmond and the author of the Bancroft prize-winning book, Darkness Falls on the Land of Light: Experiencing Religious Awakenings in Eighteenth-Century New England, helps us explore the religious landscape of New England during the 18th century and how New Englanders grappled with powerful questions about their spiritual lives during the extraordinary period known as the Great Awakening.
As we investigate the Great Awakening in New England, Doug reveals information about the Puritan faith in New England during the 1630s and 1640s; Details about the Great Awakening; And, how the events and ideas of the Great Awakening altered the religious landscape of New England and gave brith to American evangelicalism.
What You’ll Discover
- Religious practices of New England’s early Puritans
- Colonial New England and religious freedom
- The New England Way and “the godly walk”
- Revivals in the 1730s and 1740s
- The Great Awakening
- Darkness falls on the Land of Light metaphor
- George Whitefield
- Who followed George Whitefield and his religious ideas
- The experience of attending a Great Awakening revival
- Degree of participation in Great Awakening revivals
- Historical reasons for the Great Awakening
- Biblical impulses
- The Book of Life
- New birth conversion experiences
- The New London, Connecticut Bonfires of 1743
- Why New England ministers close their pulpits to itinerant preachers
- The Great Awakening through the eyes of traditional ministers
Links to People, Places, and Publications
- Douglas Winiarski
- Darkness Falls on the Land of Light
- OI Reader- Bonus Content and Sample Chapters of Darkness Falls on the Land of Light
- Las Vegas Meet up: Saturday April 21, 4pm, Wyndham Grand Desert Hotel Lobby
- Episode 025: Jessica Parr, Inventing George Whitefield
- Episode 073: Mark Noll, The Bible in Early America
- Episode 135: Julie Holcomb, Moral Commerce: The Transatlantic Boycott of the Slave Labor Economy
- Episode 166: Freedom and the American Revolution
- Episode 169: Thomas Kidd, The Religious Life of Benjamin Franklin
In your opinion, what might have happened to the course of American religious history if the religious revivals that took place during the 1740s had instead taken place during the 1680s or perhaps the 1780s?
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