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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121 Joe Cassells , a Regular in the Black Watch , also concurred with Chaplain
King ' s observation : I suppose that every one ... Jack Schofield observed , It ' s
the funniest thing in the world how religious a fellow can get when he hears the ...
100 This tradition of social observation was continued in the Great War by
chaplains and gentlemen in the ranks . ... As Hankey somewhat dourly observed ,
“ the working man . . . does not in the least connect the things that he really
believes in ...
165 Private Leonard Hart observed , “ Human life is about the cheapest thing in
existence just now and , after the manner of fatalists , we come to regard being
alive as merely luck . " 166 Frederick James Hodges commented , “ The attitude
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The British and American Churches and the
The Spectrum of Religious Faith
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