Book Review On Under The Cope Of Heaven
Type of paper: Book Review
Topic: Religion, War, People, America, United States, Veterans, Politics, Violence
The history of America has been built on various factors including selfless soldiers, migrants who came into the land in search of greener pastures, slaves who were forcefully removed from their countries and the likes. One of the vital history makers that are rarely mentioned in history chronicles is religion. History authors have taken for granted the issue of religion and the important role it has played in building the current American society. The book, Under the cope of heaven: Religion, society and politics in colonial America written byBonomi looks at the different ways through which religion shaped the political and economic environment of united states. The author looks at the different aspects of religion, including the men and women, who were devoted to their roles because of their religious beliefs. Religion acted as a balance between the challenges that were faced by different people and provided the encouragement and inspiration they needed to move on.
Religion acted as a neutral factor that people would turn to, especially when things were not working out as planned. Amidst the different crises and conflicts, people would reflect on one thing that bonded the, which was religion and hence enabling them fight toward a similar course. The challenges that were being faced by people especially during the civil wars and slavery drew people close to their God. The issues they faced created a desire within them to hear something that would motivate them in life. Christianity became a perfect religion that spoke top the hearts and needs of the people (Bonomi, 2003, p. 98). As colonialists descended into the American society, there was still hope for them as some came in with the sole purpose of giving them a new hope and message of Christ. When every other circumstance required them to have particular skills and knowledge for them to survive, religion demanded less of such things and mainly their souls.
During the American Revolution, there was little hope for people, who were never sure of their lives. The civil wars destabilized the political and economic environment of the country. This hence made most people to look for an alternative way that will bring about stability in their lives. They were in a hopeless situation, with nothing to eat. The woman and children were most affected, especially as their breadwinners were forcefully taken away from them to fight in different wars. The women were left helpless with large families to take of, and with no contact or communication from their husbands. In fact, most of them live as widows, not knowing whether their husbands had been killed in the war or had been taken to fight in a region that they would never tress their way back. During such seasons of turmoil, they found hope and solace in religion, the message of the cross taught them to live sacrificial life and assured them of better lives a head.
The book mentions of the clergymen, who were dedicated in providing the spiritual nourishment that was required by the people. Apart from the regular weekly services, the clergymen followed up on the people through their homes and preached the gospel to them, the clergymen also volunteered to go with the soldiers even to war fonts and everyday, motivated them towards fighting for the good of their land. In situations where soldiers felt like they were leading desperate lives by having to engage in killings, religion helped them relax by assuring them how wars were also biblical (Bonomi, 2003, p. 132). Quoting on the different scriptures that talked about how God used the wars to defend the nation of Israel, the soldiers would pray and trust God to give them the victory they required during battle. American soldiers were considered to have skills that enabled them to not only protect their land but also displace other communities. Most of the motivation they received was from a dedicated team of clergy that assured them that God was with them through the battle filed. They were not afraid, knowing that even if they die, it was for the good of their land and the future generations.
With religion playing an important role in making people accept and appreciate what was happening around, the author mentions of how it became an important instrument in shaping the American politics. The dedication that the clergymen had impacted the political environment of the people. As soldiers were motivated to fight and even warn battles that were considered fierce, politicians grew a deeper longing and desire towards religion. This saw many political meetings being accompanied by prayers and even sermons. The message was found to be a great source of encouragement. Religion changed the attitude that people had towards war, with biblical references, the American society was encouraged to know that winning battles was one of the ways that would assure them that God was wit them. Knowing that a supernatural being was at the center of their desires did a lot in motivating and even strengthening them (Bonomi, 2003, p. 87).
Under the coup of heaven is a book that reveals how America has not just been built on its political or economic prowess but their strong believes in religion. When nothing else worked for them, religion remained a vital factor that united the people. When they had no hope left, especially during a series of civil wars, they had a religion that gave them eternal hope. Through religion, women would wake up each day and pray for divine strength to bring up their families. Through religion, the soldiers were able to fight their battles with courage and boldness. The more they won the battles, the more they were assured of having a supernatural covering upon them. The soldiers changed their attitude towards the war as they got revelations from scriptures of how Christ made a sacrifice of death for the sake of others. They looked at themselves as sacrificial lambs and hence fighting without the fear of dying.
Bonomi, P. U. (2003). Under the cope of heaven: Religion, society and politics in colonial America (Rev. ed.). Oxford University Press, USA.