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Lincoln, Religion, and Romantic Cultural Politics

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Lincoln, Religion, and Romantic Cultural Politics Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Includes bibliographical references (p. [245]-257) and index.

Book News Annotation:

Examining Lincoln's speeches before and during his presidency, Winger (history, American U., Egypt) analyzes the religious ideas that underlay Lincoln's political thinking. He argues that the religious language that Lincoln used reflected deeply held beliefs about the moral order of politics. He suggests that Lincoln's use of religious language reflected a Romantic and poetic understanding of religion that found unconventional ways to reaffirm traditional Christian descriptions of the human condition.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Synopsis:

The nature of Abraham Lincoln's religious beliefs is perhaps the most perplexing enigma of his legacy. Examining the relationship between Lincoln's religious language and antebellum political culture, Winger offers a new perspective on the Great Emancipator. Lincoln's greatest speeches, Winger shows, articulate a Romantic Protestant vision of American identity and destiny.

Recent considerations of Lincoln's religion have presented conflicting views of the president as either a conventional nineteenth-century evangelical or a skeptic in the tradition of Thomas Paine. Winger offers an illuminating alternative based on the connections between Lincoln's personal piety and his public performance. Exploring Lincoln's quest for the moral basis of politics, Winger shows that Lincoln's religious language reflected a poetic, Romantic understanding of faith and its political implications.

A man who took ideas seriously, Lincoln conducted a decades-long dialogue with Stephen Douglas and George Bancroft about popular sovereignty and America's place in history. Although the Lincoln-Douglas debates became almost theological arguments about the ethics of slavery in a democracy, they were carried out in the context of intense party politics and personal ambition. Throughout, Lincoln expressed an intellectually grounded piety that placed his beloved Union under the judgment of both history and God. The crisis of war transformed and deepened Lincoln's religious politics, and the Second Inaugural Address reveals a Lincoln brought to humility by his powerlessness before God's commanding will.

Lincoln, Religion, and Romantic Cultural Politics presents a powerful vision of Lincoln, one that will challenge and intrigue everyone interested in this towering figure.

About the Author

Stewart Winger received the 2001 Hay-Nicolay Dissertation Prize from the Abraham Lincoln Association and the Lincoln Institute of the Mid-Atlantic. He is Assistant Professor of History at Illinois State University.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

Introduction

Part One: Lincoln and Young America

1. Debating the Meaning of America

2. Of Priests and Prophets

Part Two: The Romantic Whig Response

3. Romantic Protestantism and Whig Rhetoric

4. Law and Economics in a Romantic and Religious Age

5. The Tragedy of the Whig Response

Part Three: Lincoln's Personal Piety and Public Performance

6. From Predestinarian Baptist to Romantic Intellectual

7. Poetry and Religious Orthodoxy in the Second Inaugural

Notes

Bibliography

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780875803005
Author:
Winger, Stewart
Publisher:
Northern Illinois University Press
Location:
DeKalb
Subject:
History
Subject:
United states
Subject:
United States - Civil War
Subject:
Romanticism
Subject:
Political culture
Subject:
National characteristics, american
Subject:
Religion and politics
Subject:
Lincoln, Abraham - Oratory
Subject:
US History-1800 to Civil War
Edition Description:
1
Series Volume:
00-3
Publication Date:
20021131
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
279
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Military » Civil War » General
History and Social Science » Military » General History
History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » US History » 1800 to Civil War

Lincoln, Religion, and Romantic Cultural Politics New Hardcover
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Product details 279 pages Northern Illinois University Press - English 9780875803005 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,

The nature of Abraham Lincoln's religious beliefs is perhaps the most perplexing enigma of his legacy. Examining the relationship between Lincoln's religious language and antebellum political culture, Winger offers a new perspective on the Great Emancipator. Lincoln's greatest speeches, Winger shows, articulate a Romantic Protestant vision of American identity and destiny.

Recent considerations of Lincoln's religion have presented conflicting views of the president as either a conventional nineteenth-century evangelical or a skeptic in the tradition of Thomas Paine. Winger offers an illuminating alternative based on the connections between Lincoln's personal piety and his public performance. Exploring Lincoln's quest for the moral basis of politics, Winger shows that Lincoln's religious language reflected a poetic, Romantic understanding of faith and its political implications.

A man who took ideas seriously, Lincoln conducted a decades-long dialogue with Stephen Douglas and George Bancroft about popular sovereignty and America's place in history. Although the Lincoln-Douglas debates became almost theological arguments about the ethics of slavery in a democracy, they were carried out in the context of intense party politics and personal ambition. Throughout, Lincoln expressed an intellectually grounded piety that placed his beloved Union under the judgment of both history and God. The crisis of war transformed and deepened Lincoln's religious politics, and the Second Inaugural Address reveals a Lincoln brought to humility by his powerlessness before God's commanding will.

Lincoln, Religion, and Romantic Cultural Politics presents a powerful vision of Lincoln, one that will challenge and intrigue everyone interested in this towering figure.

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