Religion of Early America
Religion of Early America
  • Ewha Voice
  • 승인 2006.11.01 00:00
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By Choi Yoon-ji


   Professor John Wigger (University of Missouri-Columbia) gave a lecture entitled The Shaping of Religion and Culture in Early America on October 24 at the Graduate School of Theology and Department of Christian Studies. The lecture was arranged during the chapel, as an annual program that invites well-known speakers to give lectures in their fields.

Professor Wigger began the lecture by stating that most college students assumptions that the majority of colonial Americans went to church and that Americans gradually became less religious over time are false. The lecture centered on the Methodists, which was the most successful religious movement of the 1770s, followed by three reasons explaining the factors behind such success.

   According to Professor Wigger, the success of the movement benefited from changes in American society and culture of the time. The American Revolution began a process in which American society became less hierarchical and more fundamentally democratic, in which common people no longer felt obliged to defer to their social betters. The Methodist also benefited in relative terms from the end of state-sponsored religion and by capitalizing on theAmericas rapid geographic expansion following after the Revolution.

   He continued his lecture by introducing Francis Asbury, the churchs first bishop in America, who did more than anyone else to shape the early Methodist movement in America.

Professor Wigger is an associate professor at the Department of History in University of Missouri-Columbia. He is visiting Ewha during his stay in Korea to participate in the Annual International Conference of the American Studies Association of Korea, held October 27 to 28 at Korea University . Professor Wigger gave a lecture during the eighth session, entitled Francis Adbury, the Methodists and the Persistence of American Popular Religion.


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