One hundred fifty years later, Americans and people worldwide continue to recall, recite and cherish the words of the Gettysburg Address and the many other historic speeches and humorous stories uttered by Abraham Lincoln. Few people realize, however, that Lincoln possessed many doubts throughout his life and that a significant number of them occurred during the most critical time in the life of the United States.
Lincoln’s personal and political evolution from frontier child to iconic president embraced several transformations in faith, religious affiliation and reliance on God. Although most modern biographies mention little of Lincoln’s religion, to arrive at a better understanding of the 16th president it is necessary to explore his politics and leadership through the prism of religious belief and doubt.
Harold Holzer, one of the world’s foremost Lincoln scholars, will share his knowledge of Lincoln’s grasp on faith and God on Sunday, October 27, at 2:30 p.m. as part of the fall Maryknoll Speakers Series. His presentation, “This Nation Under God: Lincoln, Union, Faith and War,” will be held at the Maryknoll Mission Center at 55 Ryder Road in Ossining (Westchester County).
Presented by the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers, the series is free and open to the public. Reservations are requested and can be made by calling 914-941-7636 extension 2445, or by email (MaryknollSpeakersSeries@maryknoll.org). The Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers follow Jesus in serving the poor and others in need in 27 countries that include the U.S., where they combat poverty, provide healthcare, build communities and promote human rights.
Holzer and Lincoln Together
Holzer is the chairman of the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Foundation and he is the author, co-author, or editor of 46 books about Lincoln and the Civil War era. His most recent work is the official young-adult companion book for the movie Lincoln for which he served as script consultant. He also has written more than 500 articles, published 15 monographs, and contributed chapters and prefaces to 50 additional works.
Holzer has received many awards for his writing, including a second-place Lincoln Prize and lifetime achievement awards from the Lincoln Groups of New York, Washington and Detroit. During 2008, he received the National Humanities Medal. In addition to his writing, Holzer lectures throughout the nation. One of his programs—“Lincoln Seen and Heard” with actor Sam Waterston—has appeared at the White House, the George H. W. Bush Presidential Library, the Clinton Presidential Library, the Library of Congress and Ford’s Theatre.
When not with the president, Holzer serves as senior vice president for public affairs at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.