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American Religion Timelines

Social Movements and Religion - Movements by Date

Date (Year-Month-Day) Movement Introduction
1680-01-01 Abolitionism The abolitionist movement (1680s-1860s) led a variety of Christians across denominations to denounce the evils of slavery occurring both within and outside their congregations.
1700-01-01 Church Planting Movement The United States has a rich history of church planting, notably in the 18th/19th centuries with the growth of the Methodists and Baptists.
1730-01-01 Missionary Movement Beginning in the early 18th century, the Protestant missionary movement sought to convert and aid unchurched peoples, both domestically and internationally.
1733-01-01 The First Great Awakening The First Great Awakening (1730s-1770s) was a series of religious revivals that propelled the expansion of evangelical denominations in the colonies.
1780-01-01 Memorial Movement With early origins in the 1780s, the memorial movement highlights how Americans commonly commemorate the dead in visual and material forms.
1790-01-01 The Second Great Awakening The Second Great Awakening(s) (1790s-1840s) fueled the rise of an evangelical Protestant majority in antebellum America, giving birth to new denominations and social reform organizations.
1801-01-01 Restoration Movement The Restoration Movement (RM) formed in the early 1800s as a means to "restore" and unify the Christian church based on biblical principles.
1820-01-01 Temperance Movement Starting in the 1820s, the temperance movement aimed to curb and ultimately discontinue the consumption of alcohol. Many temperance leaders also were Christian leaders.
1836-01-01 Transcendentalism In 1836, transcendentalism took shape, as New England intellectuals pushed for the union between humans and nature through personal experience.
1837-01-01 Holiness Movement Beginning in the 1830s, the Holiness Movement spread across American Protestantism, promoting "entire sanctification" for Christian believers.
1844-10-22 Millenarian Movement Since William Miller predicted the return of Jesus Christ in the mid-1800s, Millenarian movements emerged and anticipated the end of the world.
1848-03-31 Spiritualism In the mid-19th century, spiritualism arose in America, as individuals became captivated with mediums contacting spirits of the dead.
1851-01-01 Landmark Movement Beginning in the 1850s, the Landmark Movement claimed that only Baptists have a succession back to the time of Jesus Christ.
1857-01-01 The Third Great Awakening The Third Great Awakening (1850s-1920s) saw a resurgence of religious vigor, as Dwight Moody and Billy Sunday drew in crowds of religious seekers.
1859-01-01 New Thought Beginning in the mid-19th century, the New Thought movement extolled the power of the mind and God to influence everything from healing to personal success.
1861-01-01 Woman's Missionary Movement More than two million Protestant women joined the field of missions from the mid-19th century to the early 20th century.
1870-01-01 Christian Modernism Emerging in the late 19th century, Christian modernism sought to accommodate Christian faith to changes in modern society.
1880-01-01 Social Gospel From 1880 to 1925, the Social Gospel movement highlighted "social sins" present in society and sought Christian-based social justice initiatives.
1889-01-01 Settlement House Movement In the late 19th century, many Catholic and Protestant organizations established settlement houses to aid urban immigrants and poor American-born citizens.
1897-01-01 Zionism Beginning in the late 19th century, Zionism gained attention as a political movement seeking the re-establishment of a Jewish homeland.
1901-01-01 Pentecostal/Charismatic Movement In 1901, Christians became filled with the Holy Spirit and spontaneously spoke in foreign languages, leading to the growth of the Pentecostal/Charismatic Movement.
1908-01-01 Ecumenical Movement Gaining prominence in the early 20th century, the modern ecumenical movement desired to unite various Christian groups divided by denominational boundaries.
1911-09-01 Men and Religion Forward Movement From September 1911 through April 1912, the Men and Religion Forward Movement attempted to reclaim a masculine version of Christianity.
1913-01-01 Black Muslim Movement In the early 20th century, the Black Muslim movement arose as a unique African American religious movement that promoted black nationalism and fought white supremacy.
1915-01-01 Christian Fundamentalism In the 1920s, Christian fundamentalism arose as a means to counter liberal interpretations of the Christian Bible and "secularizing" changes in society.
1926-01-01 Liturgical Movement In the early 1900s, the American liturgical movement emerged as Catholics and other groups became interested in renewing traditional liturgical practices.
1933-05-01 Catholic Worker Movement In 1933, Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin founded the Catholic Worker Movement, a group of Catholic communities promoting social justice and hospitality toward the poor.
1934-01-01 Reconstructionist Judaism Founded in the mid-1930s by Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan, Reconstructionist Judaism became the first uniquely American Jewish movement.
1941-01-01 Secular Movement Gaining prominence in the mid-20th century, the modern secular movement pushed for a society without religion.
1943-01-01 Biblical Theology Movement Between the mid-1940s and early 1960s, the biblical theology movement emerged to counter both liberal and fundamentalist interpretations of the Bible.
1947-01-01 New Evangelicalism After World War II, a movement of conservative, but socially engaged Protestants emerged. They are known as the "new evangelicals."
1950-01-01 Neo-Paganism In the mid-1940s, Gerald Gardner and Doreen Valient helped revive pre-Christian nature religion (i.e., Neo-paganism) in the United States.
1950-01-01 The Fourth Great Awakening According to some scholars, a Fourth Great Awakening arose in the mid-20th century.
1954-01-01 Civil Rights Movement The Civil Rights Movement refers to specific events of political and social protest against racism in the 1950s and 1960s.
1960-01-01 New Age Religion Forming in the 1960s, the New Age Movement emphasizes personal fulfillment, spiritual unity, and experimental healing methods.
1965-01-01 Christian Reconstructionism Originating in the mid-1960s, Christian Reconstructionism is a fundamentalist movement promoting the application of biblical law on all aspects of society.
1965-01-01 Pro-Life and Rescue Movements Anti-abortion movements, like the pro-life movement (est. mid-1960s) and rescue movement (est. mid-1980s), garnered support from Catholics, evangelicals, and Christian fundamentalists.
1967-01-01 Jesus People Movement The Jesus People Movement emerged as an evangelical Christian response to the drug and hippie counterculture of the 1960s.
1968-01-01 Anti-Cult Movement In the 1960s and 1970s, the rise in new religious groups brought accusations of "brainwashing" from opposing groups, who became known as the anti-cult movement.
1969-01-01 Latino Christian Movement The Latino Christian Movement of the 1960s/1970s represents concerted efforts by Latino Catholics for greater visibility and equality.
1970-01-01 Church Growth Movement In the 1970s and 1980s, American evangelicals coupled their love for evangelism with new pragmatic marketing strategies known as the Church Growth Movement.
1970-01-01 Home School Movement The Home School Movement began in the 1970s and attracted evangelical Christians who feared the secular influences of public education.
1971-01-01 Messianic Judaism Forming in the 1960s-1970s, Messianic Jews grew as a movement of evangelical Christians who embraced Jewish customs, rituals, and identity.
1972-01-01 Shepherding Movement An offshoot of the Charismatic Movement, the Shepherding Movement garnered controversy in the early 1970s for its emphasis on personal submission to religious leaders.
1975-01-01 Hymn Renaissance In the 1960s-1970s, a diverse collection of new modern hymnals began circulating across the world. Scholars refer to this development as the Hymn Renaissance.
1979-01-01 Religious Right In the late 1970s, the religious right arose, as religious conservatives turned to politics to fight perceived moral and spiritual decline.
1980-01-01 Missionary Member Care Movement Beginning in 1980, the Missionary Member Care Movement sought to reduce missionary attrition and provide more holistic care to humanitarian workers.
1982-01-01 Sanctuary Movement The Sanctuary Movement of the 1980s helped to provide sanctuaries and safe havens for Central American refugees.
1985-01-01 Convergence Movement Emerging in the 1980s, the Convergence Movement sought Christian unity by creatively blending evangelical, charismatic, and liturgical worship styles.
1994-01-01 Progressive Christian Movement In the late 20th and early 21st centuries, a group of "progressive" Protestant Christians emerged and embraced theological diversity, eclectic spirituality, and social justice.
1998-01-01 Missional Church Movement Founded in 1998, the missional church movement arose and changed the focus of modern Christian missions.
1999-01-01 Emergent Church The Emergent (or "Emerging") Church Movement gained traction in the 1990s, as groups sought to make Christianity "relevant" to a postmodern world.
2000-01-01 Christian Orphan Care/Adoption Movement Arising in the early 21st century, the Christian Orphan Care Movement encourages Christians to adopt local and foreign children who are orphaned.
2000-01-01 City (Gospel) Movements The 2000s saw the emergence of City Gospel Movements, which encourage partnerships across churches and social service to local urban areas.
2004-06-01 New Monasticism Formally established in 2004, New Monastics reject Christian individualism and emphasize a communal lifestyle and spiritual discipline.

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