The Soul of Abraham Lincoln

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University of Illinois Press, 2005 - 407 Seiten
Modern secularists have been reluctant to recognize Abraham Lincoln's deep spirituality, in spite of the fact that he was often known as "Father Abraham" and has been described as one of the most deeply religious presidents the country has ever seen. Yet for all of his familiarity with the Bible, his invocation of Providence, and of the Almighty, he did not actively participate in a church or lend his name and authority to a denomination.

After more than fifty years of hagiographic and contradictory accounts of Abraham Lincoln's life, William Barton stepped boldly into the bedlam of claims and counterclaims about Lincoln's religion. Armed with an enormous collection of Lincoln materials and his own strict evidentiary rules, Barton worked to avoid partisan politicking over Lincoln's legacy and instead to simply "lay bare the facts."

To enable a better examination of the vexed questions surrounding Lincoln's faith and religious principles, Barton gathered Lincoln's most important writing and speeches about religion, and topically and chronologically assembled testimonies by his friends, family, and associates, about the most important and most debated issues. This volume, Barton's first and most important work on Lincoln, is introduced by Michael Nelson who provides a history of the literature on Lincoln's religion, the historical context of Barton's writing, and the details of the method that made Barton's approach to this American icon such a distinctive success.

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Inhalt

A STUDY OF RELIGIOUS ENVIRONMENTS
17
CHAPTER PAGE I THE CONFLICT OF TESTIMONY
19
was the first religion of mankind Its confutation
23
WHY THE BIOGRAPHIES DIFFER
24
THE ENVIRONMENT OF LINCOLNS BOYHOOD
29
tures Example from Mr Olmsted showing the necessity
40
THE ENVIRONMENTS OF LINCOLNS YOUNG MANHOOD
51
THE ENVIRONMENT OF LINCOLNS LIFE IN SPRING FIELD
71
OTHER FORMATIVE BOOKS
172
CHITTENDEN AND CHINIQUY
188
THE BEECHER AND SICKLES INCIDENTS
198
BEHIND THE SCENES
203
FROM THE HOUSETOPS AND IN THE CLOSET
210
CHAPTER PAGE
225
WHY DID LINCOLN NEVER JOIN A CHURCH?
244
THE CONSTRUCTIVE ARGUMENT
260

INGTON
86
AN ANALYSIS OF THE EVIDENCE
99
THE RULES OF EVIDENCE
101
THE BATEMAN INCIDENT
114
THE LAMON BIOGRAPHY
128
THE REED LECTURE
135
THE HERNDON LECTURES LETTERS AND BIOGRAPHY
140
LINCOLNS BURNT BOOK
146
THE CHRISTIANS DEFENCE
156
VESTIGES OF CREATION
166
THE CREED OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN
291
EXTRACT FROM NEWTON BATEMANS LECTURE
303
THE CONVERSION OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN
309
Two HERNDON LETTERS CONCERNING LINCOLNS
336
THE CHRISTIANS DEFENCE
358
CHAPTER II
370
LINCOLN AND THE CHURCHES
377
BOUND TOGETHER IN CHRISTIANITY AND PATRIOT
385
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Über den Autor (2005)

William E. Barton was a minister at the First Congregational Church of Oak Park, Illinois, who began writing on Lincoln shortly before retiring from the pulpit. In the last ten years of his life, Barton produced eight substantial studies of the sixteenth president and was credited by Benjamin P. Thomas with ushering in the "modern, thoroughgoing, . . . realistic school" of Lincoln biography.

Michael Nelson is a professor of political science at Rhodes College.

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