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Other titles in the Steven and Janice Brose Lectures in the Civil War Era series:
The Civil War as a Theological Crisis (Steven and Janice Brose Lectures in the Civil War Era)by Mark A. Noll
Synopses & Reviews
"Mark Noll has for several decades been leading an effort to take seriously the religious and theological complexities of America's antebellum and Civil War experience. This concise book . . . both summarizes this scholarship and, in several important respects, advances the conversation."
--The Journal of Religion "Readers will appreciate Noll's extensive command of the literature relating to his subject. . . . Noll's book adds yet another important commentary to the war that still intrigues Americans."
-North Carolina Historical Review "Displays the care and moral seriousness historians have come to associate with Noll's work. . . . Of unusual interest."
-Journal of Illinois History "Noll has such religious insight. . . . Religious historians and Civil War readers will find this an important book and should read it."
-Register of Kentucky Historical Society "The description, contextualization, and analysis of various viewpoints is comprehensive and profound."
-Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society "Noll has opened up a new, theological understanding of war."
-Alabama Review "Insightful analysis. . . . Represents a remarkably thoughtful beginning and an excellent model for future scholars."
-Anglican and Episcopal History "[The Civil War as a Theological Crisis] was deeply satisfying and profoundly disturbing at the same time. It is to his credit that Noll's evangelical scholarship could raise such intellectual complexities and question such moral scandals."
-Presbyterion "Thoroughly researched and brilliantly written."
-Harry S. Stout, Yale University "In The Civil War as a Theological Crisis, Mark A. Noll breaks new ground on pre-war theological disputes over slavery in scripture and on contemporary discussions of the providential character of the war."
-Southern Partisan "[Noll] grapples convincingly with one of the oldest arguments among theologians: their interpretation of what the Bible has to say about slavery."
-Black Issues Book Review "[A] well-written and insightful work. . . . Noll makes every word count."
"Intriguing. . . . Both those who pray for an Evangelical majority in America and those who fear the rise of the religious right will find something of importance in this book."
-The Common Review "By one of the premier historians of American religion. . . . It quotes and cites . . . voices on all sides of the issues."
-Touchstone "The book's particular force derives from its broad perspective. . . . More pathbreaking still is his delving into foreign critiques."
-Civil War History "An informative account of the theological dramas that underpinned and were unleashed by the Civil War. . . . This book's substantive analysis belies its brevity. . . . This slim work of history is surprisingly timely."
-Publishers Weekly "The best account and interpretation of how Christian ideas shaped, and were shaped by, the Civil War."
-Christianity Today "Raises momentous questions for the history of American Christianity while offering . . . intriguing insights into an understudied aspect of our nation's greatest civil ordeal."
-Books & Culture "Bound to spark major revisionist studies and challenge young scholars to explore its provocative and convincing theses. . . . [A] masterful analysis of Civil War-era religion."
-American Historical Review "A distinctive piece of Civil War scholarship. . . . This slim set of lectures greatly enhances the study of religion's role in the American Civil War and the study of Christian intellectual life during a crucial period of U.S. history. Scholars in both fields will profit especially from its pioneering research into Christian Europe's varied reactions to the American Iliad and its causes. Advanced students and discerning general readers will appreciate the book's lively prose and its suggestive conclusions."
-Civil War Book Review
Prominent theologian Noll considers the Civil War as a major turning point in American religious thought, as both Northerners and Southerners generally agreed on the authority of the Bible but disagreed about what it taught about slavery. He also surveys the observations of foreign Protestants and Catholics, who saw clearly that regardless of how much voluntary reliance on scriptural authority had contributed to the construction of national civilization, if there were no higher religious authority than the personal interpretation of scripture, public deadlock over conflicting interpretations would amount to a full-blown theological crisis.
Viewing the Civil War as a major turning point in American religious thought, Mark A. Noll examines writings about slavery and race from Americans both white and black, northern and southern, and includes commentary from Protestants and Catholics in Europe and Canada. Though the Christians on all sides agreed that the Bible was authoritative, their interpretations of slavery in Scripture led to a full-blown theological crisis.
About the Author
Mark A. Noll is McAnaney Professor of History at the University of Notre Dame. He is author or editor of 35 books, including the award-winning America's God: From Jonathan Edwards to Abraham Lincoln.
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