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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113 After a severe shelling , during which he was splattered with the body parts
of a comrade and traumatized , the American soldier Duncan Kemerer penned
an autobiographical poem entitled “ Death and I . " The first stanza reads : Death
In May Vera sensed that “ something dark ” was coming and asked , “ God grant it
may not be death . " In August 1915 she referred to her " present agnostic
tendencies " and in that same passage achieved a degree of critical distance in ...
Observing the spiritual consequences of civilian bereavement on a massive
scale led Kirkland to argue that the age was witnessing the advent of a process
she called the “ New Death . " The process of confronting soldiers ' early deaths
led to ...
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The British and American Churches and the
The Spectrum of Religious Faith
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