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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31 Frances Evans asked , “ Why on church Parade do Roman Catholics fall out
and line up within view with their backs to us , making us feel outcasts and
sinners past redemption ? " 32 Edmund Blunden “ acted . . . as Anglican
opponent at ...
53 Rather than asking why God should favor them over their mates , these
soldiers asked why God would favor the Allied cause over the Central Power ' s
cause . 54 “ The agony of Austria - Hungary and Germany ! Are not those equal
Unable to name the new god , in “ The Second Coming " Yeats asked , “ What
rough beast slouches toward Bethlehem ? " ? Quotations such as these are
usually cited by scholars operating within the modernist paradigm as evidence
that the ...
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The British and American Churches and the
The Spectrum of Religious Faith
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