In privileging quotes and excerpts throughout, Dorn allows church leaders to speak for themselves. He does not interject the modern historian's sensibilities into the narrative for much of each section, instead allowing the reader an unadulterated look at the world-in its secular and sacred entirety-his Episcopal bishops occupied. Only after pages and pages of detail (no doubt too much for some) on the actions of the bishop at hand does Dorn offer summaries and concluding observations. In those instances, his analysis is consistently fair and evenhanded. In all of this, Challenges on the Emmaus Road is the best kind of church history, or so nonaffiliated readers must surely think. It tells the story of Episcopal leaders as they struggled with slavery and war, but it is representative of what happened throughout most of American Christendom. Adding to a wealth of recent works examining the role of organized religion in the politics of slavery and secession, Dorn offers a thoroughly researched and engagingly written look at Protestant Episcopal bishops during a period of great turmoil. It is a study that any student of American religious and Civil Warera history is advised to read. Timothy L. Wesley timothy l. wesley,
The Journal of the Civil War Era – University of North Carolina Press
Published: Feb 5, 2015
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