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Published by: api-26620527 on Oct 16, 2008
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james gayoso
period 5
12/2/07analyze 3 reform movements that exemplified charles grandison finney's concept

of "perfectionism" during the age of reform. in your analysis, describe the movement and
its relation to charles finney's concept of human malleability and salvation.

the age of reform was a product of a visible decline in church attendance and a
less strict following of the bible. finney noted that movements needed to begin to
reeducate the people of god. many strong believers and respected icons began movements
during the age of reform. some that defined charles grandison finney's ideals were the
revivalist's movement, the utopian movements, and the movement of dorothea dix. his
ideas of perfectionism was one of the greater marks of the second great awakening.

charles finney himself was part of a large movement known as revivalism. he
believed tht the only way towards human salvation and perfection was through
conversion; conversion of the sinners back towards god. this could be achieved through
looking at one's sins and through repentance. revival was defined by finney as a mere
beginning in obedience to god. he called for reform in the church from its so-called
"backslidings." he was able to maintain popularity because he would allow everyone to
convert and be accepted in the eyes of god: the drunkards, the harlots, and the infidels. all
he called for was submission. charles grandison finney was under the impression that the
only way to have a perfection was through a completely converted and reformed society.

the idea of utopia, or a perfect society, fits right into finney's idea of
perfectionism. although all of these attempts at utopian societies were complete failures,
they did prove to be a lesson learned towards all the other societies. one of the most
notable of these towns was the brook farm one.

charles finney's idea of perfectionism had certain democratic values. it allowed for
salvation of every person through conversion; a nice sense of equality. dorothea dix made
calls for equality of a very unrepresented group, which was the mentally handicapped.
she said they were treated unhumanely, and said that they shouldn't be locked up, and
defended also with the cruel beatings and harshness many of the mentally ill suffered. the
only way to properly hold these people was through making facilities capable of caring
for their needs.

the comparison of the utopian society and the movements brought by dorothea dix
for the mentally ill showed the pros and cons of charles grandison finney's ideas. his

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