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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In the United States , geography also played a critical role in determining the
contours of religious experience . The characteristic American religion in this
period was an Evangelical Protestantism found in rural areas and small towns .
Roy Honeywell , Chaplains of The United States Army ( Washington , D . C . :
Office of the Chief of Chaplains , 1958 ) , 170 – 171 , 184 , 171 . 10 . Earl F .
Stover , Up From Handymen : The United States Army Chaplaincy , 1865 – 1920
After reaching San Francisco , Harry Lauder trekked across the United States
speaking to civic groups on behalf of preparedness . 15 Upon returning home
Harry aided the British war effort by public speaking and by forming a band that
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The British and American Churches and the
The Spectrum of Religious Faith
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