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A Visitation of GodNorthern Civilians Interpret the Civil War$
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Sean A. Scott

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195395990

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195395990.001.0001

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“Discord Sown among Brethren”

“Discord Sown among Brethren”

The Appropriation of Scripture, Politicized Religion, and Church Division

Chapter:
(p.161) 6 “Discord Sown among Brethren”
Source:
A Visitation of God
Author(s):

Sean A. Scott

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195395990.003.0007

Northern religious division over the war climaxed with the birth of the new church movement at the end of 1863. Several ministers who supported Peace Democrat Clement Vallandigham in his gubernatorial bid in Ohio had their preaching licenses suspended by denominational leaders who considered patriotism an essential component of Christian orthodoxy. This contributed to Democratic dissidents forming new churches that denounced political preaching and purported to preach only the gospel. In reality, both pro‐war and antiwar parties appropriated Scripture to defend their political positions. Newspaper coverage devoted to churches riven by political infighting demonstrates the degree to which northern religion had been politicized by the war.

Keywords:   church division, Bible interpretation, political preaching, Clement Vallandigham

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