Chapter

“Earth Has No Sorrow That Heaven Cannot Cure”

Sean A. Scott

in A Visitation of God

Published in print December 2010 | ISBN: 9780195395990
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199866557 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195395990.003.0008
“Earth Has No Sorrow That Heaven Cannot Cure”

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Death touched many families during the Civil War, and religious civilians conversed at length about mortality and eternity. The belief that God sovereignly determined the timing of a person's passing enabled civilians to encourage soldiers to prepare for death and a future reunion with loved ones in heaven. Religious citizens often described heaven's blissful shores with some specificity, but they differed over how humans would experience it. Some individuals imagined heaven as a place where the worship and praise of God predominated, but others insisted that they would live with their families in a setting that resembled the Victorian home. The chapter demonstrates that the Civil War did not represent the beginning of a secular approach to death and dying but rather marked the continuation of a religious understanding of death while simultaneously exposing the theological fragmentation of mid‐nineteenth‐century religion.

Keywords: death; heaven; hell; time; deathbed; last words

Chapter.  11409 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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