The sixteen essays in this volume, all previously unpublished, address the little considered question of the role played by religion in the American Civil War. The authors show that religion, understood in its broadest context as a culture and community of faith, was found wherever the war was found. Comprising essays by such scholars as Elizabeth Fox-Genovese, Drew Galpin Faust, Mark Noll, Reid Mitchell, Harry Stout, and Bertram Wyatt-Brown, and featuring an afterword by James McPherson, this collection marks the first step towards uncovering this crucial yet neglected aspect of American history.
The series of essays in this volume originated at a conference on Religion and the Civil War held at the Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary in 1994. The conference premise was that, despite the major resurgence in interest in the Civil War in the last decade, surprisingly little attention has been devoted to the war as a religious experience. To remedy this, the conference assembled an impressive array of scholars such as Bertram Wyatt-Brown, Eugene and Elizabeth Fox-Genovese, Drew Gilpin Faust, and Randall Miller, a frequent reviewer for Library Journal, who were each asked to probe religion's role as well as the connections among religion, war, and society. Faust's essay "Without Pilot or Compass?: Elite Women and Religion in the Civil War South" covers new ground and clearly shows the major role religion played in the lives of women. Charles Reagan Wilson's "Religion and the American Civil War in Comparative Perspective" invites comparisons of the American Civil War with other civil wars. There is an insightful overview written by Phillip Shaw Paludan and an afterword by James M. McPherson. A thought-provoking if somewhat pricey collection; for academic libraries.--Charles C. Hay, Eastern Kentucky Univ. Archives, Richmond