The fear of urbanization in Chicago specifically brought about, for the evangelicals, the rise of unfamiliar or unwanted ideologies about religion, such as flappers, and women maybe not wanting to be completely submissive to their husbands and have a better role when it comes to preaching “the Word.”
However, I also think Billy Sunday was a particularly interesting person to read about because of his extreme approach to religion, revivals and the role of women in them. I do think that the message of his revivals is important to analyze and break down, as well as apply it to this era and the problems with it and society, but I think the delivery of his message should be duly noted. His mannerisms and voice are supposed to represent an ideal man of God, and his own hyper masculinity.
I think the delivery of “the message” is especially unique and important to revivalism, because it is generally what draws people in, along with building a gender ideology. Billy Sunday’s revivals were a form of entertainment, so he is trying to please a crowd while also bringing people to Christ. When popular culture became more fascinating than religion and revivals did, less people went. This especially interested me, because religion really is a type of consumerism, even today, because if it’s boring you don’t want to go. I think maybe it’s because there has to be something else that makes you want to believe in God, especially since God cannot be physically present, therefore, his “disciples” must do something to represent how being in the actual presence of God would be. Because something other than religion itself needs to be offered, these revivals are a way for Christians to literally revive their religion and soul in order to continue their “service” for God, and put a little bit of money in the church while they’re at it.