Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Universalist Movement in America, 1770-1880$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Ann Lee Bressler

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780195129861

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0195129865.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 18 January 2021

Controversy and Identity

Controversy and Identity

(p.54) Three Controversy and Identity
The Universalist Movement in America, 1770-1880

Ann Lee Bressler

Oxford University Press

What gave Universalists identity as a group in the early decades of the nineteenth century was primarily their acceptance of a single controversial doctrine. Beyond this, Universalists were united mostly by a sense of what they opposed: all that appeared unreasonable, superstitious, arbitrary, and oppressive in traditional and prevailing religious teachings. Precisely because its central teaching was so controversial, Universalism attracted members who were not afraid of disputation; indeed, their rationalist streak made many Universalists positively eager for debate about religious questions. During the ferment of the Second Great Awakening, this aspect of Universalist identity came to the fore; the period between 1820 and 1840, when Universalists were most openly and consistently engaged in battle with other religious groups (although they were less disturbed by Catholic expansion than by the course of American Protestantism), was also the period of the denomination’s most rapid growth and greatest overall vitality. However, when the intense controversy of that era began to ebb, Universalists showed growing confusion about the proper direction of their movement.

Keywords:   American Protestantism, American Universalism, Catholicism, identity, rationalism, Second Great Awakening, Universalism

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .