Catalogue


Sacred scripture, sacred war : the Bible and the American Revolution /
James P. Byrd.
imprint
New York : Oxford University Press, [2013], c2013
description
x, 243 p.
ISBN
019984349X, 9780199843497
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
New York : Oxford University Press, [2013], c2013
isbn
019984349X
9780199843497
contents note
The curse of cowardice: the martial power of the sermon -- the Lord is a man of war: Moses, the Exodus, and the Spirit of 76 -- Cursed be he that keepeth back his sword from blood: Deborah, Jeremiah, and prophetic violence -- Teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight: David's revolutionary heroism -- The liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free: Peter, Paul, and apostolic patriotism -- The fierceness and wrath of Almighty God: revelation in the revolution -- Epilogue: an American patriot's Bible.
catalogue key
8921724
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 2013-05-13:
Rooted in painstaking analysis of more than 17,000 biblical citations, Byrd, a professor of American religious history at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, argues that the Bible was a powerful force in fomenting patriotism during the American Revolution. Ministers and army chaplains in the early republic defended the war through scripture. They drew upon particular passages and biblical figures like Moses, David, and Deborah to justify war and to translate the revolution's meaning to ordinary Americans. Most importantly, Byrd argues, preaching scripture about virtuous heroes like Peter and Paul helped persuade soldiers to overcome their aversion to dying and killing. While Byrd's research is thorough and his writing impassioned, less convincing is his claim that the Bible's common stories about civil authority and freedom, martyrdom and sacrifice, and spiritual warfare enabled Americans to view the revolution as a sacred obligation. The book draws primarily on what ministers wrote and spoke, and although most Americans were familiar with the Bible at this time, we learn comparatively less about how ordinary people understood war as biblically sanctioned. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Reviews
Review Quotes
"With its remarkable research and deft insights, Sacred Scripture, Sacred War represents a major breakthrough in the study of religion and the American Founding. Never before have we had such a systematic investigation of how the Patriots actually used the Bible. Anyone interested in the Revolution will have to contend with Byrd's book." -- Thomas S. Kidd, author of God of Liberty: A Religious History of the American Revolution "Historians believe they know why Founders such as John Adams and Thomas Jefferson became revolutionaries, but the reasons why most common people supported the American Revolution, and were willing to fight and die for American independence, has remained something of an enigma. By studying how the Bible and the clergy inspired patriotism, historian James Byrd has provided answers that unravel some of the mystery. Byrd has written a good and important book that enriches our understanding of the American Revolution." -- John Ferling, author of Independence: The Struggle to Set America Free "It is no secret that the Bible is the quintessential text in American political and cultural history. Its cadences soar in presidential addresses and in America's greatest novels. Until recently, the central role the Bible has played in American wars has been less clear. Now, thanks to James Byrd, scholars have a thoroughly narrated index of the American Revolution that shows just how pervasive the Bible was to patriots pursuing their war for independence. Richly detailed and beautifully written, this book makes a major contribution to the literature on America's religious destiny, which was forged in the travail of revolution." -- Harry S. Stout, author of The New England Soul: Preaching and Religious Culture in Colonial New England
This item was reviewed in:
Publishers Weekly, May 2013
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
The American colonists who took up arms against the British fought in defense of the 'sacred cause of liberty.' But it was not merely their cause but warfare itself that they believed was sacred. In this book, James P. Byrd shows that the Bible was a key text of the American Revolution.
Long Description
The American colonists who took up arms against the British fought in defense of the ''sacred cause of liberty.'' But it was not merely their cause but warfare itself that they believed was sacred. In Sacred Scripture, Sacred War, James P. Byrd shows that the Bible was a key text of the American Revolution. Many colonists saw the Bible as primarily a book about war, and God as not merely sanctioning violence but actively participating in combat. When war came, preachers andpatriots turned to scripture, not only for solace, but for exhortations to violence. Byrd has combed through more than 500 wartime sources, which include more than 17,000 biblical citations, to see how the Bible shaped American war, and how war shaped Americans' view of the Bible.
Main Description
On January 17, 1776, one week after Thomas Paine published his incendiary pamphlet Common Sense, Connecticut minister Samuel Sherman preached an equally patriotic sermon. "God Almighty, with all the powers of heaven, are on our side," Sherman said, voicing a sacred justification for war that Americans would invoke repeatedly throughout the struggle for independence. In Sacred Scripture, Sacred War, James Byrd offers the first comprehensive analysis of how American revolutionaries defended their patriotic convictions through scripture. Byrd shows that the Bible was a key text of the American Revolution. Indeed, many colonists saw the Bible as primarily a book about war. They viewed God as not merely sanctioning violence but actively participating in combat, playing a decisive role on the battlefield. When war came, preachers and patriots alike turned to scripture not only for solace but for exhortations to fight. Such scripture helped amateur soldiers overcome their naturalaversion to killing, conferred on those who died for the Revolution the halo of martyrdom, and gave Americans a sense of the divine providence of their cause. Many histories of the Revolution have noted the connection between religion and war, but Sacred Scripture, Sacred War is the first to provide a detailed analysis of specific biblical texts and how they were used, especially in making the patriotic case for war. Combing through more than 500 wartime sources, which include more than 17,000 biblical citations, Byrd shows precisely how the Bible shaped American war, and how war in turn shaped Americans' view of the Bible. Brilliantly researched and cogently argued, Sacred Scripture, Sacred War sheds new light on the American Revolution.
Main Description
On January 17, 1776, one week after Thomas Paine published his incendiary pamphlet Common Sense, Connecticut minister Samuel Sherman preached an equally patriotic sermon. "God Almighty, with all the powers of heaven, are on our side," Sherman said, voicing a sacred justification for war thatAmericans would invoke repeatedly throughout the struggle for independence. In Sacred Scripture, Sacred War, James Byrd offers the first comprehensive analysis of how American revolutionaries defended their patriotic convictions through scripture. Byrd shows that the Bible was a key text of the American Revolution. Indeed, many colonists saw the Bible as primarily a bookabout war. They viewed God as not merely sanctioning violence but actively participating in combat, playing a decisive role on the battlefield. When war came, preachers and patriots alike turned to scripture not only for solace but for exhortations to fight. Such scripture helped amateur soldiersovercome their natural aversion to killing, conferred on those who died for the Revolution the halo of martyrdom, and gave Americans a sense of the divine providence of their cause. Many histories of the Revolution have noted the connection between religion and war, but Sacred Scripture, Sacred War is the first to provide a detailed analysis of specific biblical texts and how they were used, especially in making the patriotic case for war. Combing through more than 500 wartimesources, which include more than 17,000 biblical citations, Byrd shows precisely how the Bible shaped American war, and how war in turn shaped Americans' view of the Bible. Brilliantly researched and cogently argued, Sacred Scripture, Sacred War sheds new light on the American Revolution.
Main Description
On January 17, 1776, one week after Thomas Paine published his incendiary pamphletCommon Sense, Connecticut minister Samuel Sherman preached an equally patriotic sermon. "God Almighty, with all the powers of heaven, are on our side," Sherman said, voicing a sacred justification for war that Americans would invoke repeatedly throughout the struggle for independence. InSacred Scripture, Sacred War, James Byrd offers the first comprehensive analysis of how American revolutionaries defended their patriotic convictions through scripture. Byrd shows that the Bible was a key text of the American Revolution. Indeed, many colonists saw the Bible as primarily a book about war. They viewed God as not merely sanctioning violence but actively participating in combat, playing a decisive role on the battlefield. When war came, preachers and patriots alike turned to scripture not only for solace but for exhortations to fight. Such scripture helped amateur soldiers overcome their natural aversion to killing, conferred on those who died for the Revolution the halo of martyrdom, and gave Americans a sense of the divine providence of their cause. Many histories of the Revolution have noted the connection between religion and war, butSacred Scripture, Sacred Waris the first to provide a detailed analysis of specific biblical texts and how they were used, especially in making the patriotic case for war. Combing through more than 500 wartime sources, which include more than 17,000 biblical citations, Byrd shows precisely how the Bible shaped American war, and how war in turn shaped Americans' view of the Bible. Brilliantly researched and cogently argued,Sacred Scripture, Sacred Warsheds new light on the American Revolution.
Main Description
On January 17, 1776, one week after Thomas Paine published his incendiary pamphlet Common Sense, Connecticut minister Samuel Sherwood preached an equally patriotic sermon. "God Almighty, with all the powers of heaven, are on our side," Sherman said, voicing a sacred justification for war that Americans would invoke repeatedly throughout the struggle for independence. In Sacred Scripture, Sacred War, James Byrd offers the first comprehensive analysis of how American revolutionaries defended their patriotic convictions through scripture. Byrd shows that the Bible was a key text of the American Revolution. Indeed, many colonists saw the Bible as primarily a book about war. They viewed God as not merely sanctioning violence but actively participating in combat, playing a decisive role on the battlefield. When war came, preachers and patriots alike turned to scripture not only for solace but for exhortations to fight. Such scripture helped amateur soldiers overcome their natural aversion to killing, conferred on those who died for the Revolution the halo of martyrdom, and gave Americans a sense of the divine providence of their cause. Many histories of the Revolution have noted the connection between religion and war, but Sacred Scripture, Sacred War is the first to provide a detailed analysis of specific biblical texts and how they were used, especially in making the patriotic case for war. Combing through more than 500 wartime sources, which include more than 17,000 biblical citations, Byrd shows precisely how the Bible shaped American war, and how war in turn shaped Americans' view of the Bible. Brilliantly researched and cogently argued, Sacred Scripture, Sacred War sheds new light on the American Revolution.
Main Description
On January 17, 1776, one week after Thomas Paine published his incendiary pamphletCommon Sense, Connecticut minister Samuel Sherwood preached an equally patriotic sermon. "God Almighty, with all the powers of heaven, are on our side," Sherman said, voicing a sacred justification for war that Americans would invoke repeatedly throughout the struggle for independence. InSacred Scripture, Sacred War, James Byrd offers the first comprehensive analysis of how American revolutionaries defended their patriotic convictions through scripture. Byrd shows that the Bible was a key text of the American Revolution. Indeed, many colonists saw the Bible as primarily a book about war. They viewed God as not merely sanctioning violence but actively participating in combat, playing a decisive role on the battlefield. When war came, preachers and patriots alike turned to scripture not only for solace but for exhortations to fight. Such scripture helped amateur soldiers overcome their natural aversion to killing, conferred on those who died for the Revolution the halo of martyrdom, and gave Americans a sense of the divine providence of their cause. Many histories of the Revolution have noted the connection between religion and war, butSacred Scripture, Sacred Waris the first to provide a detailed analysis of specific biblical texts and how they were used, especially in making the patriotic case for war. Combing through more than 500 wartime sources, which include more than 17,000 biblical citations, Byrd shows precisely how the Bible shaped American war, and how war in turn shaped Americans' view of the Bible. Brilliantly researched and cogently argued,Sacred Scripture, Sacred Warsheds new light on the American Revolution.
Main Description
On January 17, 1776, one week after Thomas Paine published his incendiary pamphlet Common Sense, Connecticut minister Samuel Sherwood preached an equally patriotic sermon. "God Almighty, with all the powers of heaven, are on our side," Sherwood said, voicing a sacred justification for war that Americans would invoke repeatedly throughout the struggle for independence. In Sacred Scripture, Sacred War, James Byrd offers the first comprehensive analysis of how American revolutionaries defended their patriotic convictions through scripture. Byrd shows that the Bible was a key text of the American Revolution. Indeed, many colonists saw the Bible as primarily a book about war. They viewed God as not merely sanctioning violence but actively participating in combat, playing a decisive role on the battlefield. When war came, preachers and patriots alike turned to scripture not only for solace but for exhortations to fight. Such scripture helped amateur soldiers overcome their natural aversion to killing, conferred on those who died for the Revolution the halo of martyrdom, and gave Americans a sense of the divine providence of their cause. Many histories of the Revolution have noted the connection between religion and war, but Sacred Scripture, Sacred War is the first to provide a detailed analysis of specific biblical texts and how they were used, especially in making the patriotic case for war. Combing through more than 500 wartime sources, which include more than 17,000 biblical citations, Byrd shows precisely how the Bible shaped American war, and how war in turn shaped Americans' view of the Bible. Brilliantly researched and cogently argued, Sacred Scripture, Sacred War sheds new light on the American Revolution.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introductionp. 1
"The Curse of Cowardice": The Martial Power of the Sermonp. 15
"The Lord is a Man of War": Moses, the Exodus, and the Spirit of '76p. 45
"Cursed Be He that Keepeth Back his Sword from Blood": Deborah, Jeremiah, and Prophetic Violencep. 73
"Teacheth My Hands to War, and My Fingers to Fight": David's Revolutionary Heroismp. 94
"The Liberty wherewith Christ hath Made Us Free": Peter, Paul, and Apostolic Patriotismp. 116
"The Fierceness and Wrath of Almighty God": Revelation in the Revolutionp. 143
Epilogue: An American Patriot's Biblep. 164
Appendix: Methodologyp. 169
Notesp. 171
Indexp. 233
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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