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Whose Side is God On?

America was a highly religious nation during the Civil War era and spiritual believers on both sides of the conflict turned to their faith to understand the causes and consequences of the war. The concept of divine providence - the idea that God’s will was being played out on the battleground - was a common theme in the messages of preachers and political leaders of the day. For African-Americans in South, the freedom to worship came slowly and black ministers found themselves facing the exciting challenge of emancipation in different ways.

Host Frank Stasio explores the role of religion during the Civil War with Reginald Hildebrand, associate professor of Afro and African-American Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and author of the book, “The Times were Strange and Stirring: Methodist Preachers and the Crisis of Emancipation” (Duke Press/1995); and historian George C. Rable, author of “God’s Almost Chosen Peoples: A Religious History of the American Civil War” (UNC Press/2010).

Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.
Content Director Lindsay Foster Thomas is a multiplatform journalist and audio storyteller with a background in public radio that began right here at WUNC.