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A Holy Baptism of Fire and Blood – The Bible and the American Civil War - Oxford Scholarship Online
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A Holy Baptism of Fire and Blood: The Bible and the American Civil War

James P. Byrd


In his Second Inaugural Address, Abraham Lincoln said both North and South “read the same Bible and pray to the same God, and each invokes His aid against the other.” Lincoln quoted several biblical texts in this address—which, according to Frederick Douglass, “sounded more like a sermon than a state paper.” The Bible, as Lincoln’s famous speech illustrated, saturated the Civil War. This book offers the most thorough analysis yet of how Americans enlisted scripture to fight the Civil War. As this insightful narrative reveals, no book was more important to the Civil War than the Bible. From Mas ... More

Keywords: Bible, American Civil War, scripture, slavery, religion and violence, white supremacy, Confederate States of America, abolitionist, Frederick Douglass

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2021 Print ISBN-13: 9780190902797
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2021 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190902797.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

James P. Byrd, author
Associate Professor of American Religious History, Vanderbilt Divinity School