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American Civil War and Religion Essay

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One of the important subjects during the civil war was Religion even though it received minor attention until recent years. Historians have considered civil war an important story of war; however, religion rose as an important factor with many publications. For example “Religion and the American Civil War” is a collection of essays and poems by various writers (Harry S. Stout, George Reagan Wilson, etc.1)
A survey of the civil war history from around 1970 to the present provides a very extensive context in terms of historical attention to the civil war and religion. These days, modern historians have taken the approach to this topic of religion and the civil war in many distinct categories and sub-categories, which follow, in the next order:
a) Religion during the Civil War (In general)
b) Religion among soldiers
c) Chaplains of the civil war
d) Women and religion during the Civil War

Religion of the protestant church was an important factor in the pre-war timeline culture. The Second great awakening, which occurred in the 19th century, greatly impacted American society. This new point of view in terms and matters of faith led northerners to cherish the theory of Christian perfection, a theory that in fact was applied to society in an attempt to eliminate social imperfection. On the other hand, southerners reacted by cherishing a faith of personal piety, which focused mainly on a reading of the Bible; however, it expressed very little concern in addressing society’s problems.1

According to Broken Churches, Broken Nation (1985) “Goen was among the first modern historians to place primacy upon the influence of religion as a significant factor of the Civil War1” Goen also examines these topics of unity and separat...


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Works Cited



C. C. Goen, Broken Churches, Broken Nation (Macon, GA: Mercer University, 1985).
Richard J. Carwardine, Evangelicals and Politics in Antebellum America (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1993).

Eugene D. Genovese, “Religion in the Collapse of the American Union,” in Religion and the American Civil War, ed. Randall M. Miller (New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998), 43-73.

Aamodt, Terrie D., Righteous Armies, Holy Causes: Apocalyptic Imagery and the Civil War. Macon, GA: Mercer University Press, 2002.

Richard J. Carwardine, Evangelicals and Politics in Antebellum America (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1993).

Marty G. Bell, “The Civil War: Presidents and Religion,” Baptist History and Heritage 32, nos. 3-4 (July / October 1997): 112. Lincoln had a Baptist background and Davis a Catholic background.


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