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A Scientific Understanding of

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A Scientific Understanding of

By: Lori

A Scientific Understanding of God Two eighteenth century movements, the Enlightenment and the Great Awakening, changed American colonists' views on reason and wisdom. The Enlightenment, led by philosophers such as John Locke, emphasized abstract thought to acquire knowledge. The European and American thinkers' research led to a greater understanding of scientific phenomena and the questioning of the government's rule. Similar to the Enlightenment, the Great Awakening changed colonists' mode of thought through the concentration of emotion rather than wisdom. Reverend Jonathan Edwards, a Great Awakening revivalist, emphasized seeking salvation by recognizing one's own moral corruption and surrendering to God's will. Although the Great Awakening challenged religious, social and political orthodoxy, the Enlightenment had a greater impact on colonial America and vastly influenced future decisions. The Great Awakening reached a large quantity of people because of the traveling orators that preached the evangelical word. Although Enlightenment learning was limited to the wealthy, educated colonists, the movement's influence was still stronger because the well-to-do ruled the land. Enlightenment philosophers began questioning corrupt governments and the combination of church and state. John Locke claimed that because the people created a government, then civilians could change the run of the government. This belief, perhaps, was the most influential to colonial society. Educated and powerful political leaders began questioning their government under British rule, therefore, igniting dreams of ...

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