Thomas Kidd summarizes some of his thoughts on the Great Awakening in "The Surprisingly Democratic Roots of Evangelicalism." He argues:

In our time when popular books warn of the theocratic intentions of conservative American Christians, it may seem surprising that in early evangelicalism we find one of the most powerful resources of egalitarian and democratic thought in American history. But in countless scenes like that of Mrs. Whipple’s exhortation, the Great Awakening of the eighteenth century opened new opportunities for traditionally silent people to lead and speak in the most important social institutions of colonial America, the churches.

Bedford Books also has published Kidd's The Great Awakening: A Brief History With Documents, a most useful classroom resource.


john turner said…
Although one wonders how Kidd can write so quickly, his new book on the Great Awakening is fantastic, esp. the emphasis on the radical implications / possibilities of evangelical revivalism. For a short introduction, see his essay on the itinerant Daniel Rogers in the Spring 2007 (I think) Journal of the Historical Society.

I used his new book to organize a lecture on the Great Awakening to reasonably good effect, possibly helped by a threat to fail any student who fell asleep on a lecture about the awakening.
Do you see anything like this going on today? That's the subject of my current 2/2 post and its link to a post by Soujourner's Jim Wallace.