The Struggle for the Soul of Texas

David Bebbington

in Victorian Religious Revivals

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780199575480
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191741449 | DOI:
The Struggle for the Soul of Texas

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A revival took place at Washington-on-the-Brazos in the newly independent state of Texas in 1841. Nearly all the inhabitants of the small town attended, a high proportion became converts and the revival spread to adjacent places. The Baptists who promoted the awakening were successful in vanquishing the rough culture of the town. They brought the leading freethinkers of Washington to Christian allegiance. By accepting much of the thought of the Enlightenment, the moderate Baptists identified with the revival overcame their more traditional co-religionists who wanted nothing to do with organised missions or colleges. Yet the participants in the event resisted more extreme version of the Enlightenment embodied in the views of the Campbellites. The revival reveals much of the ideological struggle of the times to shape the future of Texas.

Keywords: revival; Washington-on-the-Brazos; Texas; Baptists; rough culture; freethinkers; Enlightenment; Campbellites

Chapter.  13469 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of Christianity

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