As you know, the period of the Enlightenment brought logic and reason into the way colonists thought about the natural world. However, religion remained a very important aspect of each colonist’s daily life.
The pioneers who settled the Thirteen Colonies were often too far away to attend churches and religious gatherings. So, religious revivals developed in communities throughout many of the colonies. This religious revival that swept through the colonies was known as the Great Awakening . People would come from miles around to hear preachers preach the Bible.
Jonathan Edwards became one of the most famous of these revival preachers. His best known sermon, Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God , preached at Enfield, Connecticut in 1741.
Another famous preacher of the Great Awakening was George Whitefield. His technique of “field preaching” gathered hundreds of people into a public space. He preached highly emotional and dramatic sermons. Dozens of people at a time were converted during these revival sermons!
The Great Awakening, and all of these revival sermons helped to increase church membership in the colonies. More and more people joined churches and began to organize themselves. The Great Awakening truly influenced life here in colonial America!