Steve Longenecker’s new book, Gettysburg Religion: Refinement, Diversity, and Race in the Antebellum and Civil War Border North, just came across my desk today. Fordham University Press did a really nice job with the dust jacket and it comes with endorsements from Ed Ayers, Ruth Doan, and Steve Woodworth.
I have been waiting for someone to write a religious history of Gettysburg and I know Steve has been working on this project for several years. I smell a speaking gig at the new Seminary Ridge Museum.
Here is a taste from the jacket blurb.
In the borderland between freedom and slavery, Gettysburg remains among the most legendary Civil War landmarks. A century and a half after the great battle, Cemetery Hill, the Seminary and its ridge, and the Peach Orchard remain powerful memories for their embodiment of the small-town North and their ability to touch themes vital to nineteenth-century religion. During this period, three patterns became particularly prominent: refinement, diversity, and war. In Gettysburg Religion, author Steve Longenecker explores the religious history of antebellum and Civil War era Gettysburg, shedding light on the remarkable diversity of American religion and the intricate ways it interacted with the broader culture. Longenecker argues that Gettysburg religion revealed much about larger American society and about how trends in the Border North mirrored national developments. In many ways, Gettysburg and its surrounding Border North religion belonged to the future and signaled a coming pattern for modern America.