The history of Christianity in America has been marked by recurring periods of religious revivals or awakenings. In this book, George M. Thomas addresses the economic and political context of evangelical revivalism and its historical linkages with economic expansion and Republicanism in the nineteenth century. Thomas argues that large-scale change results in social movements that articulate new organizations and definitions of individual, society, authority, and cosmos. Drawing on religious newspapers, party policies and agendas, and quantitative analyses of voting patterns and census data, he claims that revivalism in this period framed the rules and identities of the expanding market economy and the national policy.
"Subtle and complex. . . . Fascinating."—Randolph Roth, Pennsylvania History
"[Revivalism and Cultural Change] should be read with interest by those interested in religious movements as well as the connections among religion, economics, and politics."—Charles L. Harper, Contemporary Sociology
"Readers old and new stand to gain much from Thomas's sophisticated study of the macrosociology of religion in the United States during the nineteenth century. . . . He has given the sociology of religion its best quantitative study of revivalism since the close of the 1970s."—Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion