In this 150th year since the end of the Civil War, the Presbyterian Historical Society (PHS) has launched a series of programs and learning materials about the four-year-long conflict that resulted in nearly 900,000 casualties. Drawing on PHS collections, online and in-person resources bring the experiences and struggles of Civil War Presbyterians to life.
PHS’s newest exhibit, Presbyterians and the Civil War: Witnesses to a Great Moral Earthquake, opened in June and is on display at the PHS building in Philadelphia through January 2012.
Princeton Theological Seminary professor James Moorhead highlighted the opening of the exhibit with a public lecture, “The Civil War, the Churches, and the Terrible Swift Sword.” Moorhead pondered politics and religious rationale in what was also called the War Between the States. A video of the lecture is available on PHS’s new YouTube channel.
In addition, the Spring/Summer 2011 issue of the Journal of Presbyterian History, which focuses on the war, is available online. In it, Mark A. Noll unearths new perspectives on theological changes during the war, and Arthur J. McArthur explores church, state, and civil disobedience in border-state Missouri.
Information about these resources is available at www.history.pcusa.org, and will be continuously updated throughout the year with back articles from the Journal of Presbyterian History.
Located in Philadelphia, the Presbyterian Historical Society is the national archives of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and a leading research institution on American Presbyterianism. Founded in 1852, the society’s mission is to collect, preserve, and share the story of the American Presbyterian experience.