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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Beyond impressionistic evidence what is most important , though , is that under
the tutelage of a first - rate chaplain , a British battalion on the Western Front had ,
depending on the criteria employed , between 6 and 9 percent of its members ...
This evidence is usually not battalion specific . Approximately half of the evidence
would pertain to members of the Ninth Battalion Loyal North Lancashire
Regiment . 202 . Folder 1 , Field Message Book , June 16 , 1917 , Evers Papers ,
5 But if , as the previous evidence suggests , the lack of a widespread revival is
attributable to the failure of British chaplains , one would expect to find evidence
of revivals among troops not ministered to by British chaplains . The American ...
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The British and American Churches and the
The Spectrum of Religious Faith
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