Student Revivals in Historical Perspective: Reflecting on Asbury 2023

The multiple day “Asbury Revival” from February 8-24, 2023 galvanized the attention of the nation. Christian media outlets as well as secular ones such as Fox News and the New York Times broadcasted or published stories about Asbury. Within the Christian community, opinions about the legitimacy of referring to those on-going services as “revival” were legion. Some argued it was mere emotion while others viewed what was happening as a genuine work of the Holy Spirit and deserving of the term “revival.” These protracted meetings were the first of their kind to occur in the social media age, and social media users shared the story of the Asbury outpouring and sought to define and evaluate it.

This paper will begin with a definition of revival, and then will give an overview of campus revivals throughout history. Student revivals during the First and Second Great Awakenings will be analyzed, as well as during the 1858 Prayer Awakening. The 1904-1908 Awakenings and the campus revivals of 1970 and 1995 likewise will be examined. The paper will conclude with observations about why revival movements seem to disproportionally impact young people, arguing that both youthful idealism and willingness to change are common characteristics of the young.

4 thoughts on “Student Revivals in Historical Perspective: Reflecting on Asbury 2023”

  1. contribution unclear
    As current and interesting as the Asbury event has proved to be, even on a national stage, a paper of definitions, overview, and observations makes only a minimal contribution to perspective on the event, lacking a claim in the writer’s voice to defend.

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  2. Basic Narrative
    Paper fits with our section; Topic is of current interest. Yet the abstract does not offer a thesis, but merely plans to set the Asbury revival in a lengthy narrative of student revivals in the United States. It is unclear what the comparison of Asbury to the previous revivals will yield.

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