Date of Award
Master of Arts
Dr. Robert C. Kenzer
Dr. Eric S. Yellin
When they first came to North America, the Moravians—a pietistic, Germanic Christian sect—settled in isolated communities where only a few people ventured out to do missionary work for the community. They separated themselves from their non-Moravian neighbors, one missionary community serving the North from its seat in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and the other serving the South from Salem, North Carolina, and neither participating in civic or military life. Then, over the course of a few decades, economic and civic circumstances forced the Moravians in North America to adapt their ways to be more like those of their non-Moravian neighbors, adopting styles of living and commerce from them. By the time of the American Civil War, though both communities maintained a separate sense of Moravian identity, they had both come to resemble their neighbors so closely that Moravians in Bethlehem and Salem were some of the first to enlist to fight against fellow Moravians. Though the communities chose opposite sides on the battlefield, it was because they had undergone the same change.
Robertson, Adrienne E., ""A change has swept over our land": American Moravians and the Civil War" (2009). Master's Theses. 697.