Item description for Both Prayed to the Same God: Religion and Faith in the American Civil War by Robert J. Miller...
Both Prayed to the Same God is the first book-length, comprehensive study of religion in the Civil War. While much research has focused on religion in a specific context of the civil war, this book provides a needed overview of this vital yet largely forgotten subject of American History. Writing passionately about the subject, Father Robert Miller presents this history in an accessible but scholarly fashion. Beginning with the religious undertones in the lead up to the war and concluding with consequences on religion in the aftermath, Father Miller not only shows us a forgotten aspect of history, but how our current historical situation is not unprecedented.
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More About Robert J. Miller
Father Robert Miller is Pastor of St. Dorothy Church in Chicago. He is the author of five other books, the most recent of which is Surprised by Love.
Reviews - What do customers think about Both Prayed to the Same God: Religion and Faith in the American Civil War?
Fills Big Hole in Civil War Studies Jun 7, 2008
I ran across this book on my way to something else--it's one of those gratifying accidental discoveries. Among other benefits, it answers many questions I've always had about the Civil War: how did believers on both sides find biblical justification for killing their co-religionists?
This past two years I've read the new Robt E. Lee book of "letters"; two Gen. Sherman biographies; and the 2-vol Gen. Grant Memoir, with his "letters." Robert Miller's readable book provides much needed background for understanding all of the above. By portraying the paramount role religion and faith (the author distinguishes between these two) played on both sides, it fills a gap in Civil War studies. This book is filled with insights about the individuals (Lincoln, et. ali) and the times. It is both heavily documented and user-friendly, a rare scholarly achievement. Take Miller's "Religious Affiliations" index: it's a list of key military and social Civil War figures and their denominations (including conversions).
The book also serves as a history of American Christian denominational formation and influence, including important splits (Baptists. etc.), throwing light on today's religious views and news. I'd not realized that the abolition movement was the cause of the big splits in American Protestant history.
The author, a Chicago priest, is even-handed and respectful as he examines beliefs far different from his what I assume are his own. He seems to be a scholar without any agenda, other than the sheer love of his subject. Which makes this a great read.