Difference Between Enlightenment and Great Awakening

Difference Between Enlightenment and Great Awakening

For a long time, the topic of mental awakening has been hotly debated. This was common practice in European and American colonies alike. They were aware of their own leadership potential as a result of their newly awakened minds. Politics and religion go hand in hand. The revolutions that took happened altered their perceptions of a specific surviving civilization and their own nation.

The uprisings that occurred educated the people of Europe and the United States. In the end, they realized that they could exist on their own and not rely on their governments. Although the Great Awakening and enlightenment seem to be comparable, there are also significant distinctions.

Enlightenment Vs. Great Awakening

For example, in North America and Europe Enlightenment has been connected with rights to political, economic and cultural freedoms; in Asia and Africa the Great Awakening has been associated with spiritual awakenings. As a result, the Great Awakening in the American colonies began in the mid-seventeenth century and allowed individuals to practice their religion without interference. The Enlightenment’s primary goal was to replace superstition and blind faith with the power of science and reason. New religious perspectives, however, were a major emphasis of the later.


Social, political, economic and cultural qualities are all aspects of enlightenment. Between 1750 and 1800, this trend started to take hold throughout Europe. North America and portions of Europe were no strangers to the Enlightenment-era uprisings, upheavals, and revolutions. Those who resided in the affected areas were granted political rights. Isaac Newton and John Locke are two of the most prominent people linked with this movement.

Religion is the primary focus of the Great Awakening. Between the 1730s and 1740s, the first stirrings of the Great Awakening could be heard across the land. The Great Awakening had place throughout American colonies. New religious perspectives were its primary goal. The Great Awakening granted religious freedom to Europeans. Jonathan Edwards, Gilbert & William Tennent, the Wesley Brothers, and George Whitefield are among the most prominent people linked with the Great Awakening.

What is enlightenment, and how does it differ from other states of consciousness?

The Age of Reason is sometimes referred to as Enlightenment. There was a cultural and intellectual revolution in the eighteenth century, in which science and reason replaced religion and superstition. Voltaire, John Locke, and Isaac Newton, who developed Newton’s Law of Gravity, are three of the persons that started the Enlightenment movement. These were the thinkers who placed a greater focus on human evolution than on what we already knew.

Across Europe and North America, new ideas were built on openness, study, and religious tolerance. The Age of Enlightenment started with the rise of Western Civilization. Most people regarded it as a ray of hope in the midst of a terrible time. In the Enlightenment, several concepts were put forth. Cosmopolitanism, Progressivism, Empiricism, and Rationalism are some of the concepts.

Great Awakening:

The Great Awakening was a religious upheaval of this sort. In the latter half of the 1720s, it had its start in Europe, primarily in England. Later, in the 1730s, it spread to other American colonies, including those in the Caribbean. It was Gilbert and William Tennent’s teamwork that steered the revolution in the impacted colonies for more than three decades. The age of thinking did not sweep away all of America’s clergy.

Jonathan Edwards, a Yale University pastor, never made a big deal about winning over the English Church. To him, the greater danger was that the people of New England would get absorbed in John Calvin’s theological ideals and teachings, rather than the accumulation of riches. For a long time, it was thought that good actions might rescue a person’s soul from eternal damnation. The Great Awakening began as a result of events like these.

New institutions were established during the period of the Great Awakening. Churches and Princeton University, for instance. Some individuals opted to embrace the new period, while others remained firmly opposed to it. As a result, the United States became divided.

Difference Between Enlightenment and Great Awakening

  1. One form of movement that deals with social, political, and cultural features is known as the Enlightenment movement. The Great Awakening, on the other hand, focuses on religion.
  2. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the Enlightenment started. The Great Awakening, on the other hand, occurred between the years 1730 and 1740.
  3. In North America and Europe, the Enlightenment rebellions and movements took place. The Great Awakening, on the other hand, began in the colonies of the United States.
  4. Fourth, enlightenment aimed at replacing superstition and blind faith with science and rational thinking. The Great Awakening, on the other hand, focused on new religious movements.
  5. Citizens gained a great deal of political independence during the Enlightenment. The Great Awakening, on the other hand, granted religious liberty to the people.
  6. John Locke and Isaac Newton are two of the most prominent personalities linked with the Enlightenment. Jonathan Edwards and George Whitefield are also part of the Great Awakening.


Thought processes and perceptions of individuals were altered by the Great Awakening and Enlightenment. It is also worth noting that these two movements took place just before the turn of the 17th century. Similarly, both Enlightenment and the Great Awakening highlighted the need of a free and autonomous spirit.

They did, however, both defy the authority in their own ways. The Great Awakening and the Enlightenment were given the necessary impetus by great historical events.. These beliefs were championed by different people in different ways. Despite the fact that these two movements have a lot in common, they also have a lot of distinctions.

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