Noted Lincoln scholar to speak at next Amicus Curiae Lecture

Lucas-Morel-vert Dr. Lucas Morel, professor of ethics and politics and head of the politics department at Washington and Lee University, will be the featured speaker at the next Amicus Curiae Lecture at Marshall University.

The next installment of the Amicus Curiae Lecture Series, sponsored by the Simon Perry Center for Constitutional Democracy, will take place at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 16, in the Foundation Hall, Home of the Erickson Alumni Center.

Morel originally was scheduled to speak on Feb. 19, but bad weather forced postponement of his lecture until April 16. The lecture is titled, “War and Remembrance in Abraham Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address.”

Morel, a noted Lincoln scholar, is the author of Lincoln’s Sacred Effort:  Defining Religion’s Role in American Self-Government (2000), and is the editor of Ralph Ellison and the Raft of Hope:  A Political Companion to Invisible Man (2004).  His newest book, Lincoln and the American Founders, will be published by Southern Illinois University Press as part of its Concise Lincoln Library series.

As Morel describes, “Abraham Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address is most famous for its closing exhortation, ‘With malice toward none, with charity for all,’ but the bulk of his 700-word speech was devoted not to the president’s plans for the future but to a recollection of the past.  Lincoln offered an interpretation of the war and slavery as a way to reunite the divided nation.”

Describing the speech, Morel said, “The war’s devastation, Lincoln supposed, was God’s punishment for the national sin of slavery, and the eradication of the American slavery — and not simply the preservation of the Union — was a just outcome of the conflict.  Only with a common memory of the nation’s greatest trial could Americans have any hope that Reconstruction would succeed.  The refusal to accept Lincoln’s reading of the war postponed America’s  ‘new birth of freedom’ for almost a century.”

The lecture, which is free and open to the public, is supported by a grant from the West Virginia Humanities Council.