Speaker hopes to give new perspective to President Lincoln

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    The religion department hopes to provide a fresh glimpse into the mind of Abraham Lincoln.

    The department will host “Lincoln’s Sermon on the Mount” at 7 p.m. Monday night in the Brown-Lupton University Union auditorium. Lincoln scholar Ron C. White Jr. will discuss the 16th president’s second inaugural address in 1865.

    David Moessner, the A.A. Bradford Chair of Religion at TCU, is coordinating the event.

    The lecture will cover how the 16th president used religious and Biblical language in his writings on his life and the later part of the Civil War, Moessner said.

    The lecture is based on White’s book, Lincoln’s Greatest Speech: The Second Inaugural.

    White analyzes Lincoln’s writings in an original way, looking at Lincoln’s diaries for insight into his personal life, religious convictions and his personal transformation, Moessner said.

    Moessner knows White personally and invited him to come speak at the university. White has become one of the top three Lincoln scholars over the last ten years, Moessner said.

    The timing of the lecture, right after Martin Luther King Jr. Day and before Black History Month in February, provides some crucial insight to the importance of Lincoln today, Moessner said.

    “The Civil War now is more important; we know more now than ever,” he said.

    Moessner stressed that it’s crucial to know history and where the nation has been when looking to future race relations and conflict resolution.

    Moessner also said that near the end of the war Lincoln saw ending slavery as “God’s will,” shedding light on Lincoln’s religious motives and giving some insight into modern presidential religious motives.

    “[Attendees] will learn things about Lincoln they won’t learn anywhere else,” Moessner said.

    The event is free, but a reservation is required. Those who are interested in attending can reserve a seat online.