The following questions test your ability to make connections between the themes of the course that weâ€™ve discussed in class, and the contents of our readings- both primary and secondary. You will choose 5 questions from the below options to discuss and explore. I expect nothing less than 3-4 paragraphs per question, which will include as many examples as possible. Please begin your writings with an answer to the question, followed by additional explanation and discussion of the chosen theme. You may use Corrigan to supply your answers with additional details and examples. In other words, Corrigan should only be helpful for examples and citations in your writing.
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1) Describe the distinctive worldview of indigenous peoples. How did it relate to the Puritans, or Pilgrims? What were some of the similarities, or differences, between such views of the world? Were both equally enchanted, or fascinated by the supernatural?
2) Compare and contrast the approaches to missionary work as understood through the Catholics in New France or the Southwest, and the Protestants in New England. Did some emphasize commercial interests over the Gospel? Or vice versa? Make sure to use examples in your answers.
3) How did the Protestant Reformation spill out of Western Europe and into North America? How were the Puritans a reflection of Reformation values and priorities? Why did the Puritans seek a â€œpurer Churchâ€ compared to the Church of England?
4) What did it mean to be a â€œCity Upon a Hill?â€ How did this idea orient Puritan writings, analyses, and thoughts about what America could be? What would happen if America failed?
5) Identify the various parts of Colonial America. What were the different characteristics of each colony in terms of Religion? In other words, what was New England known for? Or, perhaps, the Middle Colonies?
6) Discuss and identify 3 different denominations that developed within the American colonies during the colonial period. Who were their founders? Were they New Light traditions, or Old Light?
7) Describe the significance of the Great Awakening in American religious history. How did it work? Was it a single event? Who was involved in the revivals? You can focus on one particular colony, or instead discuss the Awakening more broadly.
8) How did the Deists compare to Colonial American Protestants and Catholics? Who were the Deists? What made them distinctive compared to others?
9) How did American denominations react to calls for Independence? Did some support, while others resist such calls? Who supported the cause for Revolution, and why?
10) What made the Second Great Awakening distinct compared to the First? Who was involved? What new measures or developments came out of the Second Great Awakening?
11) How did George Whitefield represent the First Great Awakening? What did he do to support the cause of Revival?
– You can also explore Charles Finney as well in regards to the 2nd Great Awakening
– What did Finney do, or contribute, that changed the nature of revival forever?
12) What organizations or societies emerged out of the Second Great Awakening? What causes did they take up? Did they make space for women in such organizing?
13) Describe an example of a Utopian Community. You can focus on the Transcendentalists, Mormons, Millerites, or any other community associated with this topic. How did they imagine community?
14) How did the institution of slavery challenge American Christianity? How was slavery defended biblically? Or fought against?
15) How and why did Abraham Lincoln symbolize the state of American Christianity in the 19th century? How did Lincoln understand the Civil War theologically? And how was Lincoln remembered after passing?