University Press Copublishing Division / Fairleigh Dickinson University Press
Trim: 6 x 9
978-1-61147-714-6 • Hardback • December 2014 • $128.00 • (£98.00)
978-1-61147-716-0 • Paperback • August 2016 • $54.99 • (£42.00)
978-1-61147-715-3 • eBook • December 2014 • $52.00 • (£40.00)
John Howard Smith is associate professor of history as Texas A&M University-Commerce.
Introduction: The Problem of the First Great Awakening
PART I: “No Small Appearances of a Divine Work”
Chapter 1: Vital Piety
Chapter 2: Looseness, Irreligion, and Atheism
Chapter 3: Communion-Times
Chapter 4: A Glorious Work of God’s Infinite Power”
PART II: “The Late Revival of Religion”
Chapter 5: Many Thousands Flocking to Hear Him Preach the Gospel
Chapter 6: Blessed Be God That Hath Done It!
Chapter 7: Glorious Distraction
Chapter 8: Unhappy Contention
PART III: “Methinks I See Mighty Cities Rising on Every Hill”
Chapter 9: I Claim Jesus Christ to be My Right Master
Chapter 10: A Salvation from Heaven
Chapter 11: More Like True Religion than Any I Ever Observed
Chapter 12: The Seed of Dissention and Discord
Historian Smith rejects the argument that this important event in US intellectual and religious history was nothing more than the invention of the preachers of the Second Great Awakening and seeks to redefine the movement. The genesis of the Awakening, he argues, flows from German Pietism, Scots-Irish Presbyterianism, and Puritanism. Smith provides ample coverage of the major figures of the First Great Awakening—Jonathan Edwards, Gilbert Tennant, George Whitefield, and the radical James Davenport—as well as the anti-revivalist opposition of those such as Charles Chauncy. Instead of ending the Awakening in 1745, he expands it to include the southern colonies in the late 1740s and 1750s through the preaching of Baptists and Presbyterians, a revival that continued into the 1770s. Smith contends the Awakening helped plow the ground from which the American Revolution sprang. . . .[The author] includes a much broader look at 'women, African Americans, and Indians' than previous scholars have. Especially interesting is the Nativist-accommodationist struggle among Native Americans, a struggle that led to Pontiac’s Rebellion. A worthwhile read for both the knowledgeable and the novice. Summing Up: Recommended. All levels/libraries.
— Choice Reviews
This comprehensive synthesis of the First Great Awakening explores many facets of revivalism in mid-eighteenth century America…. The most unique and valuable contribution of this book is its characterization of radical revivalism as an essential quality of the Awakening…. Smith makes a strong case for the incorporation of radical evangelicalism into any comprehensive understanding, or redefinition, of religion in late colonial British America.
— American Historical Review
John Howard Smith’s The First Great Awakening stands out as a particularly lucid and reliable effort toward this new, enlarged understanding—the best to date. Smith takes into account most of the important secondary literature, which illuminates previously neglected forerunners and Revolutionary-era successors to the Whitefield-Edwards-Tennent cast of characters. . . .The book, as a whole, offers a series of important facets of the revivals, including their spread beyond white New Englanders. . . .This book shines as one of the best surveys of the Awakening in America.
— Reading Religion