I have read a fiery gospel writ in burnished rows of steel : Horace Bushnell's war theology and the meaning of nationShow full item record
|I have read a fiery gospel writ in burnished rows of steel : Horace Bushnell's war theology and the meaning of nation
|Klingenberg, Mitchell George
|Master of Arts
|This work examines the nineteenth century Connecticut Congregationalist minister, Horace Bushnell, and his attempts to discern God's purpose for the American Civil War and the nation it tore asunder from 1861 to 1865. A theologian and metaphysician who rejected the Puritanical strand of New England Calvinism, Bushnell came to understand the American struggle over slavery as an opportunity to achieve a glorious nationhood and position before God. For Bushnell, the heinous institution of slavery and the act of secession threatened the ideal that held America as a "City on a Hill." It also threatened the nation's Providential calling to an illustrious history. Thus, while many who endured the Civil War interpreted the event as tragic (many still do), Bushnell seemed to understand the war as vindictive--a validation, of sorts, of national mission--and therefore viewed it as a wondrous occurrence. With rhetoric filled with images of bloodshed, Bushnell came to understand the Civil War as a grand and noble sacrifice, an atonement not unlike Christ's death for the sins of man. Such a worldview accommodated for a distinctly positivist understanding of killing and bloodshed as means for a national baptism and an arrival at glory.
|Woodworth, Steven E.
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- Masters Theses