The Civil War and Sacred Ground: Moral Reflections on War

March 16, 2012

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Back row (left to right): Suzanne Ross, Keith Ross, Luke Harlow, and Laura Rominger Porter. Front row (left to right): Mark Noll and Tracy McKenzie.

In the years leading up to the American Civil War, theologians, preachers, and devout church goers searched the Bible to discern God’s position on slavery. Should have been obvious, right? Not according to Notre Dame professor Mark A. Noll, whose research shows that “the remedy that finally solved the question of how to interpret the Bible was recourse to arms.” The Raven Foundation is partnering with the Center for Applied Christian Ethics at Wheaton College to bring you this event exploring questions of Biblical interpretation, then and now.

The audio for this conference is in three parts.

In the audio available at the top of this article, Tracy McKenzie, professor and chair of the department of history, Wheaton College, provides a context for the conference and the conflict in the opening lecture, "'And the War Came': Moral Reflection and the Causes of the Conflict."

In the second audio installment, Mark A. Noll, Francis A. McAnaney Professor of History, Notre Dame University, examines the interpretations of divine providence held by supporters of slavery and abolitionists alike in ''Both Pray to the Same God': a look at Divine Providence."


In the final audio installment below, Luke Harlow, assistant professor, department of history, Oakland University, illustrates the conflicts within the state of Kentucky in "Religion, Race, and the Significance of Civil War-Era Kentucky." Laura Rominger Porter, Ph. D. candidate in history, Notre Dame University, discusses how the issues of the Civil War divided churches as well as citizens in "The Problem of ‘Sin’ in the Civil War-Era Upper South."


Recorded Friday, March 16, 2012 at The Center for Applied Christian Ethics.