"I confess: Great is my shame and great is the bewilderment of Christ's Church in Brazil, upon seeing unbelievers release their slaves out of simple love for humanity, while those who profess faith in the Redeemer of captives fail to break the fetters of impiety nor set the oppressed free!" -Eduardo Carlos Pereira (1886) In 1888, Brazil was the last nation in the modern west to abolish slavery. Slavery and Protestant Missions in Imperial Brazil is an enlightening look at the role Christianity played in the struggle to abolish slavery in Brazil. Author José Carlos Barbosa seeks to explain why Protestant missionaries stationed in Brazil during the nineteenth-century remained silent on the issue of abolition, even after the end of the American Civil War. Barbosa asserts that the missionaries' first priority was to secure a toehold for Protestantism and that meant not alienating the political and landowning elites of Brazilian society. Also, dominant theological thinking placed spiritual matters over temporal: "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and give to God what is God's." Making abolition in Brazil a largely secular struggle.
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About the Author
José Carlos Barbosa earned his master's degree in history at the University of Brasília and his doctorate in American History at the University of Seville, Spain. He currently teaches history at the Centro Universitário Metodista, Izabela Hendrix, in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil. Fraser G. MacHaffie and Richard K. Danford, translators, are members of the faculty at Marietta College, Marietta, Ohio.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Translators' Introduction Chapter 2 Preface Chapter 3 Introduction Chapter 4 Chapter I: "A closed garden which wild animals cannot enter": The Implantation of Protestantism in Brazil Chapter 5 Chapter II: "Contrary to what many think, Brazil is not an uncivilized and barbarous country": Missionary Strategy Chapter 6 Chapter III: "Slavery is like a thorn that penetrates the flesh and causes excruciating pain but which we do not want to pull out, for fear that the operation will further increase the pain": The Institutional Protestant Message and Slavery Chapter 7 Conclusion Chapter 8 Appendix: "The Christian Religion and its relation to Slavery"
What People are Saying About This
The book discusses a subject, which has been only fleetingly examined and for that reason brings new information and clues for future research. The honesty and courage of Barbosa's research . . . may shock many Protestant readers due to the timidity or even silence of their respective denominations in the battle for abolition [of slavery in Brazil].