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Faith and Slavery in the Presbyterian Diaspora considers how, in areas as diverse as the New Hebrides, Scotland, the United States, and East Central Africa, men s and women s shared Presbyterian faith conditioned their interpretations of and interactions with the institution of chattel slavery. The chapters highlight how Presbyterians reactions to slavery which ranged from abolitionism, to indifference, to support reflected their considered application of the principles of the Reformed Tradition to the institution. Consequently, this collection reveals how the particular ways in which Presbyterians framed the Reformed Tradition made slavery an especially problematic and fraught issue for adherents to the faith. Faith and Slavery, by situating slavery at the nexus of Presbyterian theology and practice, offers a fresh perspective on the relationship between religion and slavery. It reverses the all too common assumption that religion primarily served to buttress existing views on slavery, by illustrating how groups and individuals reactions to slavery emerged from their understanding of the Presbyterian faith. The collection s geographic reach encompassing the experiences of people from Europe, Africa, America, and the Pacific filtered through the lens of Presbyterianism also highlights the global dimensions of slavery and the debates surrounding it. The institution and the challenges it presented, Faith and Slavery stresses, reflected less the peculiar conditions of a particular place and time, than the broader human condition as people attempt to understand and shape their world."

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781611462012
Publisher: Lehigh University Press
Publication date: 02/15/2016
Series: Studies in Eighteenth-Century America and the Atlantic World Series
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

William Harrison Taylor is associate professor of history at Alabama State University.

Peter C. Messer is associate professor of history at Mississippi State University.

Table of Contents


List of Illustrations



Chapter 1: From James Montgomery to James Macbeth: The Development of Scottish
Antislavery Theology and Action 1756–1848 Iain Whyte

Chapter 2: Between Enlightenment and Evangelicalism: Presbyterian Diversity and
American Slavery, 1700–1800 Gideon Mailer

Chapter 3: “Made of One Flesh?”: Revisiting the 1787 Slavery Policy of the Synod of New York and Philadelphia William Harrison Taylor

Chapter 4: “A Blessing or a Curse, Depending on How It Is Used”: David Ramsay’s
Presbyterian Antislavery Journey Peter C. Messer

Chapter 5: Transatlantic Family Journeys: From Antislavery Ethos to
Pro-Slavery Ethic Nini Rodgers

Chapter 6: The Reformed Presbyterian Church and Antislavery in Nineteenth-Century
America William J. Roulston

Chapter 7: Commerce and Christianity: Scottish Presbyterians, Slavery, and Islam in East Central Africa, 1870–1900 Richard Finlay

Chapter 8: Antislavery Work by the American Women of the Presbyterian
Congo Mission Kimberly Hill

Chapter 9: “The Slave Trade in the New Hebrides”: Covenanting Ideology,
the New Hebrides Mission, and the Campaign against the Pacific Island
Labor Traffic Valerie Wallace

Epilogue: Presbyterian Orthodoxies and Slavery Joseph S. Moore

About the Authors

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