Review: Complexities of Lincoln’s faith explored

November 12, 2012 • Entertainment

This book cover image released by Thomas Nelson shows, “”Lincoln’s Battle with God: A president’s Struggle with Faith and What it Meant for America,” by Stephen Mansfield. (AP Photo/Thomas Nelson)

“Lincoln’s Battle with God: A President’s Struggle with Faith and What it Meant for America” (Thomas Nelson), by Stephen Mansfield

He has previously explored the faith of Barack Obama and George W. Bush, and now author Stephen Mansfield takes on the complex and fascinating religious life of Abraham Lincoln, who went from fiery atheism in youth to such deep conviction later that his second inaugural address could be called a kind of sermon to the nation.

Textbooks often freeze and simplify Lincoln’s religion, making him merely a “skeptic, ever religiously uncertain,” Mansfield writes in “Lincoln’s Battle with God.” ”The truth is that Lincoln was, in fact, a religious pilgrim.”

There’s no end to books parsing the 16th president, of course, and even Lincoln’s faith has had many thoughtful explorations. The value of Mansfield’s study is its sharp focus, its detail about those who influenced Lincoln and the author’s Login to read more

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