Kingdom Of Matthias Rhetorical Analysis

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Paul Johnson and Sean Wilentz present an almost antithesis to the Second Great Awakening with The Kingdom of Matthias. The religious revival movement of the mid 1800’s emphasized a host of things previously unheard of by the zealots of the 18th century. Women were empowered in their roles of spirituality and salvation became a journey instead of a destination. I consider the mark of the Second Awakening to be an opportunity to define religion and what it means to you—within the parameters of the multiple evangelical and perfectionist movements. Johnson and Wilentz argument in the novel is that with “fanatics” like Thomas Finney, who was a leader in the growing evangelical movement, comes an abuse of the independent control of one’s relationship with god. The author’s emphasize the point by telling the dramatic tale of Prophet Matthias and the sermons that earned him a following. The blind devotion of his followers shows the lost ideologies of those who had previously thought they had it all figured out. They had come from strong, Christian backgrounds that …show more content…
While it contradicted many of the values set forth, times of transition will always lead to some extreme alternative groups. It was a complete shuffling of the power hierarchy, the values and even the goals of religion. The one aspect of the Second Great Awakening that was inherited by Matthias was the directive to convert. Previously, if you did not live within the community of religion your whole life, you were not welcome. With Finney and Robert Matthews, we see that conversion is very important—even if they are for drastically different reasons. But they also expressed a good argument as to the sentiment of the masses. When Matthias was caught, there was outrage punctuating the shifting emotions of th public away from Matthias’ perspective and towards religious

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