The Civil War
The Civil War
Redeemer President and Warrior Prophet: Abraham Lincoln, William T. Sherman, and Evangelical Protestantism
This chapter discusses the relationship between evangelical Protestantism and the American Civil War through the lives of Abraham Lincoln and William T. Sherman. The jeremiad script of evangelical Protestantism played a major role in sustaining both the Union's and the Confederacy's war efforts, even while Abraham Lincoln's own views on Providence evolved in a manner both similar to and distinctive from that of his contemporaries. Sherman, in contrast, represented the war's potential for fomenting godlessness, with the challenge his Deification of the State represented to conventional nineteenth‐century Christianity. While evangelicals proved equal to the task of fending off this heterodoxy in the short term, the military and political forces Sherman represented had lasting effects on some postwar figures like Oliver Wendell Holmes, and in historical terms, they cannot be ignored.
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