Comparative frontiers, a proposal for studying the American by Jerome O. Steffen

By Jerome O. Steffen

A examine of the way to review the West

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The proliferation of sects and the theological debates were mostly superficial manifestations of the conceptual differences crystallized in the Great Awakening. " 30 Nor did the fundamental change in the theological premise of American Protestantism escape Schaff, whose first intentions were to help stamp out the proliferation of sects because of their pantheistic tendencies. Schaff instead returned to Germany and endorsed the New World religious events as the religion of the future. He saw American Protestantism as a melting pot of "all the powers of Europe, good and bad .

The changes generally represented a shift from reason to emotion and from debates on the nature of God to debates on the nature of man and his capacity to receive salvation. The science of a rational age and the mysticism of earlier Christianity inevitably were headed for a clash, and the Great Awakening represented the working out of these differences in the New World. Alan Heimert, a noted scholar of American religion, says of this development: ". . "29 American Protestantism emerged from the Great Awakening in the form it would maintain throughout the nineteenth century.

30 Nor did the fundamental change in the theological premise of American Protestantism escape Schaff, whose first intentions were to help stamp out the proliferation of sects because of their pantheistic tendencies. Schaff instead returned to Germany and endorsed the New World religious events as the religion of the future. He saw American Protestantism as a melting pot of "all the powers of Europe, good and bad . . "31 The fermentation of the good and bad aspects of Europe under "new and peculiar conditions" represents a historical dynamic common to all aspects of early American development, a development that represented a fundamental change from the old order.

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