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God's Almost Chosen PeoplesA Religious History of the American Civil War$
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George C. Rable

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780807834268

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807899311_rable

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(p.240) Chapter 13 Declension
God's Almost Chosen Peoples

George C. Rable

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter examines how civil religion created an alliance between church and state in the United States and the Confederate States. However, the war paradoxically weakened church attendance and ministries in the short if not in the long term. “Patriotism is a Christian virtue,” an Illinois Presbytery declared during the fall of 1863, yet it duly noted that the churches would languish so long as people's minds were preoccupied with war. Once the Union had finally been restored, those who had survived the crisis “will arise with new strength to do the work of the master.” Conservatives still hoped that pious folk would not wish to hear anything preached but the Gospel.

Keywords:   civil religion, church, state, United States, Confederate States, church attendance, patriotism, Christian virtue

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