The Cross And The Trenches: Religious Faith And Doubt Among British And American Great War Soldiers by Richard SchweitzerThe Cross And The Trenches: Religious Faith And Doubt Among British And American Great War Soldiers by Richard Schweitzer

The Cross And The Trenches: Religious Faith And Doubt Among British And American Great War Soldiers

byRichard Schweitzer

Hardcover | May 31, 2003

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The modernist historiographical model of the Great War neglects such traditional modes of thought as religious response to battle. Drawing on the testimony of over 500 British and American soldiers, Schweitzer provides an in-depth account of topics such as soldiers' prayers and biblical readings, as well as religious doubts. As a detailed snapshot of religion during the war, this study provides a crucial preamble to studies of the legacy of the Great War. The lack of a satisfactory scholarly study has left interpretation of the role that religion played in soldiers' lives to the pronouncements of their contemporaries who often either viewed World War I as an opportunity to spark a religious revival or as an event that crushed religious faith. Schweitzer argues that neither of these interpretations is accurate, and he hopes to replace them with a model that arranges responses on a spectrum ranging from absolute faith in God to atheism. Based on extensive archival research, this study establishes a detailed model of the spiritual lives of British and American soldiers during the war. After sketching this spiritual history, he concludes that both British and American soldiers were more religious than previous writings have indicated.

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Title:The Cross And The Trenches: Religious Faith And Doubt Among British And American Great War SoldiersFormat:HardcoverDimensions:352 pages, 9.62 × 6.1 × 1.23 inPublished:May 31, 2003Publisher:Praeger PublishersLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0313318387

ISBN - 13:9780313318382

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?In his fascinating, at times moving, new book Richard Schweitzer has mined his sources deeply to produce a comparative study of British and American great War soldiers' religious beliefs. He has convincingly challenged the "bipolarity" of historical analysis of wartime religion: that faith either dramatically revived or proved farcical in light of wartime experience....[S]chweitzer concentrates on the troops, providing a gold mine of information for future reference. Scholars owe a Schweitzer a great debt for his meticuluos foray into the recorded private thoughts of so many soldiers.??Albion