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Revivals

(from Lat. revivo, “to live again”). 1. The phrase “revivals of religion” commonly indicates renewed interest in religious subjects or, more gen., religious awakenings. In its best sense it may be applied to the work of Christ and the apostles and to the 16th c. Reformation. But the term is often applied also to excitements that can hardly be assoc. with true religion since they do not revive spiritual life by preaching the Word but are mere enthusiastic outbursts of emotion. The term “revival” is gen. confined to an increase of spiritual activity in Eng.-speaking Prot. chs.

2. There were revivals in Scot. beginning at Stewarton 1625, extending north to Shotts 1630, and at Cambuslang and Kilsyth in the early 1740s. See also Great Awakening in England and America. There was a revival at Northhampton, Massachusetts, beginning 1734 and throughout New Eng. in the early 1740s (see also Edwards, Jonathan, the Elder). From the close of the Great Awakening (ca. 1750 in Am.) there were no gen. revivals in Am. till ca. 1800, when L. Beecher* and T. Dwight* (1752–1817) began their remarkable work. A revival began in Kentucky in the 1790s, spread to Pennsylvania and Ohio, and was accompanied by violent physical phenomena called “the jerks.” See also Presbyterian Churches, 4 b.

Other revivalists include Asahel Nettleton (1783–1844; b. North Killingworth, Connecticut; educ. Yale; Cong. evangelist Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York), C. G. Finney,* D. L. Moody,* Benjamin Fay Mills (1857–1916; b. Rahway, New Jersey; Cong. minister Cannon Falls, Minnesota, and Rutland, Vermont; Presbyterian minister Albany, New York; evangelist; indep. 1897: Unitarian pastor Oakland, California; Presb. 1915), R. A. Torrey,* John Wilbur Chapman (1859–1918; b. Richmond, Indiana; Presb. pastor Ohio, Indiana, New York, and Pennsylvania; assoc. with D. L. Moody), Rodney Smith,* and W. A. Sunday.* The 1859 Irish revival was an import from the 1857–58 US revival (a movement directed mainly by laymen). The Great Welsh Revival occurred 1904–06.

See also Jones, Samuel Porter; Radio and Television Evangelism Network, 5; Sankey, Ira David.

F. G. Beardsley, A History of American Revivals (New York, 1904); W. W. Sweet, Revivalism in America: Its Origin, Growth and Decline (New York, 1944).


Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
©Concordia Publishing House, 2000, All rights Reserved. Reproduced with Permission

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