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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As a point of information , it should be noted that the American Army was
composed of a diverse group of religious denominations . The majority of
American troops were Protestant while about 35 percent were Roman Catholic .
In the more ...
As Paul Fussell noted , the archetype here was the leaning statue of the Golden
Virgin that remained atop the shell torn Basilica at Albert . 138 Observing the
Golden Virgin , Stephen Graham wrote , “ The miracle of her suspense in air over
As noted previously , superstitions could remain on the fringe of organized
religion by referring to Christian iconography such as the leaning Virgin at Albert
as manifestations of the miraculous . Discussion of these sort of superstitions ...
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The British and American Churches and the
The Spectrum of Religious Faith
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