The Cross and the Trenches: Religious Faith and Doubt Among British and American Great War Soldiers
Praeger Publishers, 2003 - 311 páginas
The modernist historiographical model of the Great War neglects such traditional modes of thought as religious response to battle. Drawing on the testimony of over 500 British and American soldiers, Schweitzer provides an in-depth account of topics such as soldiers' prayers and biblical readings, as well as religious doubts. As a detailed snapshot of religion during the war, this study provides a crucial preamble to studies of the legacy of the Great War.
The lack of a satisfactory scholarly study has left interpretation of the role that religion played in soldiers' lives to the pronouncements of their contemporaries who often either viewed World War I as an opportunity to spark a religious revival or as an event that crushed religious faith. Schweitzer argues that neither of these interpretations is accurate, and he hopes to replace them with a model that arranges responses on a spectrum ranging from absolute faith in God to atheism. Based on extensive archival research, this study establishes a detailed model of the spiritual lives of British and American soldiers during the war. After sketching this spiritual history, he concludes that both British and American soldiers were more religious than previous writings have indicated.
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READING THE GOOD BOOK Church groups provided many troops with pocket
Bibles and New Testaments to ensure their spiritual sustenance at the front . The
American Bible Society and the American YMCA distributed a combined 4 , 558 ...
Corporal James Burns relates this story of the origins of a Bible study group in the
Third Lowland Ambulance : Here also was formed a Bible study group in the unit
on the initiative of McIver a Free Church of Scotland student . . . . In the kit ...
Hall had " a pocket Bible , and used to read it to the men in dugouts before the
evening ' stand - to ' in the trench . " " Sobered by the thoughts of sudden death , "
wrote Hall , “ many who had scoffed and laughed at me in England , joined in my
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The British and American Churches and the
The Spectrum of Religious Faith
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