How Did The Great Awakening Influence Puritan Society

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The early Puritans of New England was held together by the church, but the Puritan Church had difficulty maintaining its authority. There was a theological disputes among the Puritan settlers since the beginning. For example, the case of Roger Williams (a leading dissident) who was banished from the Puritan community during 17th century. Williams was apparently banished because of his idea about the separation of Church and State. He hesitated to join the unseparated church because he believed that there should be no official state religion and that people should be free to practice whatever religion they prefer. As religious dissent increased and as towns expanded, Puritan New England society became more heterogenous since the new town began developing their own distant character, regardless of whether it was once a part of another town. There was another force, the expansion of Commerce, which undermined both community and the authority of the Church. With the expansion of towns, and increase in economic and the importance of social relations, people became increasingly preoccupied with economic gain rather than being concerned with religion and the well being of their neighbors. As a result, there was a decline in …show more content…
The Great Awakening challenged the established religious authority in Puritan New England. The “New light” enthusiasts (who provided an emotional or spiritual outlet for the Puritan people) were concerned about the decline of religion, however they were skeptical of religious authority. To these antinomians (the “new light” enthusiasts), regarding religious truth, it was best that the individual decide for themselves what the proper way to serve God was. No one, even if the person was a minister, had a better understanding or knowledge of religious truth, except the individual

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