The materials for this module/week have covered everything from the emergence of new religious denominations to the growth of the abolition movement. In your entry, give some consideration to the reasons all these changes may have occurred when they did. Think about all the material concerning religion you have covered since Module/Week 1. Can you see some patterns? What could be an explanation for the growing diversity in religious belief in America? Is it more secular in nature or more spiritual?
After carefully studying last week assignment and readings, I have easily identified the various social issues that affected most Americans in the 19th century. Most of these challenges brought a new measure of worry to the ordinary citizens as well as the future of the entire country. The primary social issue that affected t large percent of the population was inequalities, slavery and drug abuse such as alcohol abuse among most individuals both male and female. As a retaliation, most individuals sort comfort and guidance from religion with the hope that they will lead a better and healthy life. Therefore, religious beliefs become more diverse focusing on training and managing risks[i].
However, as some portion of the population was seeking refuge in religion, there were those who thought and felt that religion did not help and thus, they became secular reformers. The moderation reform campaign and movement was then formed in the wake of rising number of cases of alcoholism in most American communities and societies. Moreover, there was the creation of prison reform at the same time which focused on detaining all law breakers in the society to keep the citizens safe as well as reducing the influence of the few corrupt individuals. Through the prison system, the society was able to isolate the offenders to allow them to repent their sins. Additionally, I also learned how the social issues present in the American society at the time highly contributed to the establishment of different types and genres of religion as well as religious beliefs. The social and economic development of the society largely depended on the religious beliefs of the people. Therefore, it is correct to state that the American societal was and is more spiritual than secular in nature[ii].
[i] George Van Cleve, A Slaveholders’ Union, 1st ed. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2010).
[ii] OUP Accepted Manuscript”, American Literary History (2017).
“OUP Accepted Manuscript”. American Literary History (2017).
Van Cleve, George. A Slaveholders’ Union. 1st ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2010.