The Civil War as a 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 inclu

  • Title: The Civil War as a Theological Crisis
  • Author: Mark A. Noll
  • ISBN: 9780807830123
  • Page: 301
  • Format: Hardcover
  • 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 slaveViewing 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.

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    One thought on “The Civil War as a Theological Crisis”

    1. The Civil War as a Theological Crisis is The Steven and Janice Brose Lectures in the Civil War Era, delivered at the University of North Carolina, and as a book that came out of a series of lectures, it has a relatively conversational and approachable tone. Mark Noll is an eminent historian of Christianity and specifically evangelicalism in America. In these lectures, Noll looks at the theological issues, which Noll argues in fact constituted a theological crisis, that shaped the Civil War and i [...]

    2. Mark Noll's book argues, convincingly, that the civil war can be understood not simply as a constitutional crisis but a theological crisis for American Protestants (and really, for Christianity at large in light of the existence of American Protestantism). In fact, the constitutional crisis had significant theological roots, and we cannot understand the constitutional crisis in absence of this theological context. Given that America was a de facto Protestant nation, with its firm belief in sola [...]

    3. This book shows how the beliefs and assumptions held by American Christians in 1860 precluded any kind of critical reflection on the Civil War. If you've read Nathan Hatch's Democratization of American Christianity, this serves as an excellent second installment in the saga. Many of the ideals whose development Hatch chronicles played important roles in paving the way for the Civil War ethos. This book is also a nice supplement to Harry S. Stout's Upon the Altar of the Nation. Stout beautifully [...]

    4. I've gotten into debates with people about whether the Bible allows for slavery. Everyone I have ever argued with has argued that the Bible condemns slavery. We are unified as Christians in seeing slavery as a horrific sin.Yet go back to the era of the Civil War and the mainstream opinion was that the Bible approved of slavery. Mark Noll's fantastic book documents this in great detail. He shows that the very ideologies that made America what it was, such as individualism and democracy, led to a [...]

    5. This book is fantastic. I had to slow myself down to consider and process some of the info and analysis. It's a short volume but scholarly. If you've haven't read much on the Civil War you probably should read some more generalized book(s) on the conflict unless you are only focused on the theological crisis. And, this is not a history of religion in the Civil War nor does it focus on one denomination (both the Methodist and Baptist church split over the slavery issue leading up to the war). The [...]

    6. A fantastic, deep study of religion and society during the turning point in our country's history. I'm going to have to read more books by Mark Noll, because he's bringing the intellectual study of Christianity that I've always craved.I read the book on Sunday mornings, usually sitting outside with a cup of coffee and the chance to think hard about what I was reading. One chapter or even just part of one was all I could manage at one time, since there was so much material to turn over in my mind [...]

    7. Intriguingly even handed. Won't just assume that the America of the past was more religiously faithful, but endeavors to quantify that. Won't just assume that the consequences of that fervor and piety are entirely positive but endeavors to show the firmly-held divisions that result. Even for readers not obsessed with help biblical interpretation impacted the Civil War, this is a good, brief read to consider how biblical interpretation impacts the current culture.

    8. A very interesting book. Heart-breaking many times. Quite a bit of coverage to main-stream Protestants and more conservative Catholics - would have liked to have seen a little more about Lutherans, which I think might have also been helpful. "It is clear that the American Civil War generated a first-order theological crisis over how to interpret the Bible, how to understand the work of God in the world, and how to exercise the authority of theology in a democratic society.""The theological crisi [...]

    9. Wrongly narrow focus, errors, undercut thesis of bookNoll makes a few errors, mainly, but not entirely, in setting the framework for this book.Other than a semi-coda chapter on Catholic opinions, he tries to make the "theological crisis" about Protestant Christianity, and more specifically, Reformed Protestant Christianity. Well, until the Jacksonian Revolution, Episcopalianism supplied much of the national-level political leadership, very much the state-level Southern leadership, and a fair amo [...]

    10. This is another fascinating book by Mark Noll, taken from a series of lectures he delivered in 2003. The Civil War, I learned, was perhaps the most "Christian" war ever fought because both sides were deeply Christian (Protestant, specifically) and grounded their arguments about slavery (and to some extent about secession) on their readings of the Bible. Pastors and politicians on both sides denounced the other side in strong terms for their abandonment of Christian morality. Especially in areas [...]

    11. This book blew my mind. I had no idea that most (if not most then many) early 19th century orthodox Christians believed that the Bible supported slavery and that to suggest otherwise threatened the principle of the authority of Scripture in their minds. That is to say, they felt that it required a looser reading of the Bible to argue that slavery was wrong or something a Christian ought to oppose (e.g. Paul urged slaves to obey their masters, etc.). I also learned (through this book and a couple [...]

    12. Much easier book to read than his massive America's God, this book does a great job of putting you into the theological arguments of a great number of antebellum Americans. And theology leads to the Civil War (by cutting off compromises). Two good quotes:"The inability of evangelicals to agree on how slavery should be construed according to Scripture, which all treated as their ultimate religious norm, was in fact connected to the economic individualism of American society." p. 158 I don't know [...]

    13. Very, very good. A well-written, crisp, authoritative review of the broad controversy of American slavery, focused mostly in the years just after the American Revolutionary War and up through the American Civil War and several years after. This is not simply a review, but a deep analysis of the theological basis for the varied viewpoints about the purpose and place of slavery in America and in Christendom (and indeed in the conflated American Christian nation). The author has his own voice, of c [...]

    14. Noll describes how and why the Civil War was a theological crisis. One indicator of the depth of the schism is that even among Northern ministers there was disagreement about what the Bible taught on slavery (i.e. it was not merely a North/South split). At the core are America's focus on the Word, their belief in interpreting the Word without religious authority, and God's providence on American culture. Noll demonstrates how the Bible and its interpretation was a part of American identity and t [...]

    15. I was fascinated by most of this book, especially since many of the questions of biblical interpretation that surfaced around the issue of slavery are surfacing again (or similar issues are surfacing) around questions of LGBTQ participation in church & women in leadership. Noll doesn't discuss that at all he's purely focused on the theological debates surrounding American slavery. Nevertheless, one of the main reasons I appreciated this book was b/c of his elucidation of the ways various pro [...]

    16. This book, written by Mark Noll, is an effort to comprehend the theological crisis in the United States of America around the civil war years. Noll has written a highly accurate and very detailed book that is rich in description. This is perfect for academic scholars of religion or scholars of U.S. history because of the historic accuracy regarding religion in America. In Mark Noll’s book, “Civil War as a Theological Crisis” he provides a very rich description of the biblical debates ragi [...]

    17. This book just blew me away and really challenged my thinking about religion, god, politics, and how my own opinions are formed. Broken into three parts (four if you include the Noll’s own opinion in the last chapter), this book really examined the theological ideas floating around and how people justified their own opinions on owning people and going to war.The first part really dove into the theological crisis itself. The author makes the case that the American Revolution, and subsequently t [...]

    18. The work was a broad overview of theological discourse surrounding the Civil War, especially theological debates about slavery and race. Noll examines several perspectives, including North and South, Protestant and Catholic, domestic and foreign. He was a little light on examining African-American perspectives, but his argument is also that racism tended to sideline the impact of African-American arguments. This work was a good introduction to the theological discourse of the time: the debates r [...]

    19. Fascinating topic. Dry read that doesn't really build up to any meaningful thesis/insight. The history of who believed what around the world leading up to the civil war is well covered.

    20. Mark Noll tasks himself with examining the state of the nation theologically before, ESPECIALLY during, and after the Civil War. In essence, the nation is not only divided regionally but also theologically. His explanation concerns itself with theological deadlock, which led to the Civil War. Although the United States was largely a Protestant Christian nation that shared a cultural reverence and respect for the Bible, theologians could not agree on what the word (and thus the will of God) was c [...]

    21. Doug PayneNoll, Mark A. 2006. The Civil War as a theological crisis. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2006Mark A. Noll is Francis A. McAnaney Professor of History at the University of Notre Dame. He is a prolific author having written twenty-six books almost all on Christianity in the United States. His books have received much acclaim from the academic community most notably The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind. He was awarded a National Humanities medal in the Oval Offi [...]

    22. Among the books I read late last year was The Civil War as a Theological Crisis by Mark Noll, a historian of American religion at Notre Dame. It’s a truly illuminating book about the ways different groups of Christians in the mid-nineteenth century interpreted the Bible’s teachings about slavery, along with a whole host of interpretational implications for a range of issues related to public theology.“From the historical record it is clear,” Noll writes, “that the American Civil War ge [...]

    23. There are great number of lectures and dissertations, but none of them have ever been handled like this before. In The Civil War as a Theological Crisis, Mark Noll uses sermons, articles and memoirs to argue the theological parameters of the causes of the Civil War. This is not a one volume treatment of religion on the effect of the war, but looking into how the theological battles on the subject of slavery was handled in the early stages of the conflict and even throughout the war. The end pro [...]

    24. This book turned out to be much greater, more thorough, and more eye-opening than I ever could have imagined but also not nearly as good as I was hoping.The text originated as a series of essays for academia, and it shows, being dryer than a bowl of wheat dust. The spectrum of religious commentary surrounding the American Civil War is documented with relentless precision and absolute detail, and if you're prepared to do a little wading, it's extremely informative that way. You'll come away with [...]

    25. This is a really interesting book that explains how and why during the civil war slavery was a hot button theological debate. Those who favored slavery could point to literal interpretation of scripture as the basis of their argument. Scriptures supporting slavery were not hard to find: I Tim. 6:1-2; Colossians 3:22; I Cor. 7:21; Ephesians 6:5) and the Apostle Paul shows by example in the book of Philemon that returning a slave to the owner is the correct response. Huck Finn lived in an era of t [...]

    26. Informative, fascinating, well researched and written, if I was writing a paper, I would be all over this text. As it is, I am still in live with it. The author takes pains to give a full and balanced representation of the state of American theological thought and biblical exegesis as it related to popular opinion and political decision making leading up to and during the Civil War.Of course each individual Protestant congregation followed the Biblical exegesis and thought process of their indiv [...]

    27. Short Review: This is the second time I have read this book. I read it it first a bit over a year ago accidentally. I borrowed it because it was by Noll, not because I actually knew anything about it. But it has been one of the books I frequently have recommended since then. Since it dropped down into reasonable price range for kindle I picked it up and read it again.The main takeaway is still the same, that we read scripture through cultural lenses. And too often we do not even know that the le [...]

    28. From the founding of the country until 1860 there was a steady growth in the confidence of religion (both the Bible and providence) to influence public life and shape public policy. According to Mark Noll’s The Civil War as a Theological Crisis, not only did the Civil War bring this confidence to a halt, but, even to this day, the United States has not been able to overcome the inertia that began over the question of slavery. The religious leaders leading up the war could not come to a consens [...]

    29. Dense, (dry,) academic book. More academic than I was up for, but clearly thoroughly researched, a contribution to the scholarship and all that, and if I had followed the discussion more closely, I probably would have been more thought-provoked :-)I don't even quite feel comfortable summarizing the book, because I wasn't quite awake through all of it, but it's basically (as you might infer from the title) an examination of the role of theology in the Civil War, and the effect of the Civil War on [...]

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