How one religious idea produced the greatest activist you’ve never heard of

How one religious idea produced the greatest activist you’ve never heard of

We often hear about all the harm caused by religious people in the name of their religion, but good religious ideas have continually made the world a better place. I can think of plenty of simple religious ideas that have created such a ripple effect that they changed the course of history. In an earlier post I looked at how the Cistercian idea of work created an economic boom. In a second post looked at how the idea that beauty is the key to understanding God led to some of the world’s most magnificent architecture, film and music. Here’s the third in this series. How a single religious belief unleashed a remarkable activist and a global movement.   THE IDEA: THAT EVERY PERSON CAN HAVE A SUBJECTIVE EXPERIENCE OF GOD’S GRACE In the 17th and 18th centuries, there arose a Protestant movement referred to as Christian Enthusiasm. We don’t use that term much these days but its adherents were so transformed by its central idea that they turned the world upside down. Today, we use the word enthusiast to refer to someone who’s really passionate about a hobby or interest. Hence we have car enthusiasts and football enthusiasts, etc. But in around 1700 that term was used in a very specific way. The Greek from which we derive term, enthusiasm, connotes being taken

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