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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Clark noted that throughout his years at the front he often heard the voice of God “
speaking comfort and bestowing strength . " Usually , “ the message took the form
: ' Fear not ; I am with thee ' ( Isaiah 41 : 10 ) . " On November 16 , 1916 , Clark ...
I wish you could have heard " 66 the Padre ' s sermon . Victor continued to be
influenced by the Padre as he wrote to Vera in June 1916 : “ our Garrison padre
here takes the most practical view of the Trinity - he told us yesterday that no man
British are noted , on May 2 , 1915 , Renshaw “ realized " - rather than felt or
heard — that “ God was speaking to me calling me to nobler service than that of
fighting with arms . . . . I feel more every day that precious souls are dying for want
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The British and American Churches and the
The Spectrum of Religious Faith
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