Although Puckett exhibits a very Euro-centric and racist bias in his pages, there are, in his writing, hints of how slaves used religion to resist slavery. It was “freedom, rather than slavery, [that] proved the greatest force for conversion among African Americans in the South” (94). © 1979 The Johns Hopkins University Press The Journals Division publishes 85 journals in the arts and humanities, technology and medicine, higher education, history, political science, and library science. A Descriptive Character Analysis of Olivia Pope, Elon Journal of Undergraduate Research in Communications, The Double Victory Campaign and the Black Press: A Conservative Approach to 'Victory' at Home and Abroad. In a new chapter in this anniversary edition, author Albert J. Raboteau reflects upon the origins of the book, the reactions to it over the past twenty-five years, and how he would write it differently today. When Abraham Lincoln won the 1860 election on a platform of halting the expansion of slavery, seven slave states broke away to … David Brion Daviswrites that the "variations in early Christian opinion on servitude fit comfortably within a framework of thought that would exclude any attempt to abolish slavery as an instit… Although in the early years of Christianity, freeing slaves was regarded as an act of charity, and the Christian view that all people were equal including slaves was a novel idea within the Roman Empire, the institution of slavery was rarely criticised. Many slaves converted to another denomination than their masters urged them to (e.g., becoming Baptist instead of Methodist, singing Methodist hymns instead of practicing Catholicism)xxix or because of the inadequate conditions of worship, especially in the case of Catholicism (e.g., foreign-born priests, understaffed churches, priests breaking the silence of confession, and having to take communion after whites and free blacks).xxx Moreover, slaves took Catholicism and adapted it through syncretism with African religious traditions (e.g., using candles, feast days, burial customs etc. 2011. About The Journal | Submissions And yet it was just about to undergo a profound change that would make it the leading factor of the economy of the antebellum (“before the war”) South, the period falling roughly between 1810 and the American Civil War (1861–65). Slavery was restricted to religion. Go to Table 6. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1999. xii + 305 pp. xxxi However, even when they did stay in the faith, slaves found ways of resisting the slave-owner’s control: in the case of Catholicism, they complained to the superiors of Jesuit priests who maltreated them, and sought top have their marriages blessed to force their masters to preserve the union and recognize their humanity.xxxii, If up until now, slaves are shown as being imitators of the European culture of their masters, and then shown as agents of their religious life and as resisting the terrible institution of slavery through religion, the 1990s see the start of a gendered approach to slave religion. Retrospective essays examining landmark works by For slaves, as for whites, literacy promised self-worth and access to scripture. Some practiced African religions, including Islam, others practiced Christianity. HFS clients enjoy state-of-the-art warehousing, real-time access to critical business data, accounts receivable management and collection, and unparalleled customer service. HFS provides print and digital distribution for a distinguished list of university presses and nonprofit institutions. Slave Religion: The "Invisible Institution" in the Ante-bellum South. The demand for slaves was greatest in the Deep South, and the Upper South sold its slaves “down the river” at ever higher prices. The Gentlemen Theologians: American Theology in Southern Culture, 1795-1860. Retrieved from http://www.inquiriesjournal.com/a?id=372, Basu-Zharku, Iulia O. Thus, slaves accepted Christianity not because their masters imposed it on them, but because it was a trend in Africa, from where they had come, and some refused to adopt it because in Africa they had adopted Islam.xv Also, Christianity was adapted and in some cases converged with African beliefs.xvi One example would be the religious dancing and shouting, which originated in the African spirit possessions but now represented Christian ecstatic experiences.xvii In addition, religion compensated for the hard life of slavery and helped in the resistance of slaves to it.xviii The latter example stands for resistance as well, since it empowered slaves to ask for the back-rails on seats to be removed so that they could pray.xix Their prayers were also symbols of resistance (e.g., they prayed for freedom, they prayed even when they were forbidden to, and they refused to pray for the Confederacy, when their masters ordered them to),xx and spirituals were shouted, dramatized, giving slaves strength, meaning and hope.xxi Despite the white ministers’ trying to label these traditions as sins, African-Americans kept them alive.xxii Moreover, slaves accused their masters through other whites, formed Christian fellowships, organized their own churches (African Baptist Churches),xxiii and had their own black preachers, who obtained the license to preach and were very eloquent, thus proving the abilities of blacks.xxiv These considerations of Raboteau are not Euro-centric anymore and focus on the slaves’ agency-something that was denied to them in most of Puckett’s pages. decades, enslaved African-Americans living in the Antebellum South, achieved their freedom in various ways—one being religion—before the demise of the institution of slavery. Ruiz is even more specific in her gendered approach, focusing on older slave women. Americans used religion to attack or defend slavery in the period from the American Revolution to the Civil War, including religious defenses of racism and the Christian explanation for the origin of blacks as the cursed descendants of Canaan. Facebook; Twitter; Email; Tools Icon Tools. American South, 1740-1870 (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1988): 38-42. With a personal account, you can read up to 100 articles each month for free. 7 Mitchell Snay, Gospel of Disunion: Religion and Separatism in the Antebellum South (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993), 54. Stephanie Buzzard Ms. Renae Newhouse WRD 110-020 November 4, 2011 Slavery in the Antebellum South Slavery was a popular practice in the South during the Civil War Era. Slavery was defended in the South as a "positive good", and the largest religious denominations split over the slavery issue into regional organizations of the North and South. option. Inquiries Journal/Student Pulse 3.01 (2011). history, law, political history and philosophy, religion, social history, Representing the work of students from hundreds of institutions around the globe, Inquiries Journal's large database of academic articles is completely free. This research... Afro-Pessimism forwards a crucially important foundation with which anyone concerned with forming Black resistance strategy should navigate. 52 [4] Donald G. Mathews. When Slavery Was Called Freedom: Evangelicalism, Proslavery, and the Causes of the Civil War. It was “freedom, rather than slavery, [that] proved the greatest force … Grandmothers were instrumental as caregivers and nurturers in the extended family network. Thus, because slaves had a flexible definition of family, just like the church considered everyone a big family, many differences between slave women (e.g., field vs. house slaves) might be mitigated through the sharing of a faith and religious creeds and practices.xxxix. Review by: Thus, he contended, cursing, drinking, adultery, theft, and lying were not considered big sins by most slaves.vii However, Puckett contended that Voodoo and conjuration might be of African origin, but even in this case some beliefs were probably coming from European sources.viii. Soon after the end of the Civil War, a collection of 136 religious and secular songs of enslaved African Americans was published as Slave Songs of the United States, compiled primarily by three white northerners who had gone to the South Carolina sea islands in 1862-63 to work with recently freed African Americans. Home | Current Issue | Blog | Archives | John Boles and Donald Mathews, Religion in the Old South (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1977). Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1926. Patricia Morton, Discovering the Women in Slavery: Emancipating Perspectives on the American Past (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1996): 208. Most studies of slavery written since the early 1970s acknowledge the role of religion in the lives of slaves; indeed, it is now recognized as one of the central cultural artifacts of the slave experience. ©2000-2020 ITHAKA. xxxiii.) intellectual history, and cultural history. In the 1990s and 2000s, the subject of slavery and religion is much more specific: for example, scholars focus on the role religion played in helping slave women cope with slavery, or the role religion played in helping elderly slave women cope with the “peculiar institution.” Nonetheless, whether the scholars’ bias is more or less pronounced, the truth about the role of religion in helping slaves cope with their hardships is evident: religion gave slaves a sense of personhood, dignity and power that they were otherwise denied in their lives, a way of showing the world their humanity and a way of resisting the gruesome experience of slavery. Boles, John B., ed. Hopkins Fulfillment Services (HFS) Literacy meant liberation of mind and soul and sometimes even person. Journals For this reason, they had a very high standing in the slave society and family.xl Through this role older slave women taught slave children the scriptures, Negro spirituals, prayers, and hymns, but they also taught them about the power of God, and social and spiritual values: self-respect, how to live a good life, the importance of giving back to the community, of serving God, of the need of women to take care of themselves.xli This ensured not only a good psychological standing for the slave community but fought against the objectification of slave women as Jezebels and Mammy’s and, in general, proved the humanity of the slaves. Read your article online and download the PDF from your email or your account. By Janet Duitsman Cornelius. Permissions. Inquiries Journal provides undergraduate and graduate students around the world a platform for the wide dissemination of academic work over a range of core disciplines. However, as one goes into the 1970s and 1980s, the focus fell more on the way slaves used religion to cope with slavery by adapting Christianity to their own needs, and thus on slaves’ agency. "Slavery and Religion in the Antebellum South." The "Invisible Institution" in the Antebellum South. Such beliefs as the superstitions related to death (e.g., “do not count carriages in a funeral procession”),iii most positive control signs (e.g., finding lost things by various meansiv, divining your future matev), or prophetic signs and omens (e.g., black cats are bad signsvi) are European in origin, according to Puckett. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1978. x + 262 pp. Albert J. Raboteau. ISBN: 9780195174120. Slave Religion: The ''Invisible Institution'' in the Antebellum South | Albert J. Raboteau | download | Z-Library. Moreover, the views expressed here do not necessarily represent the views of Inquiries Journal or Student Pulse, its owners, staff, contributors, or affiliates. Reviews in American History provides an effective means for scholars and Save Citation »  (Works with EndNote, ProCite, & Reference Manager), Basu-Zharku, I. O. Dorothy S. Ruiz, Amazing Grace: African American Grandmothers as caregivers and Conveyors of Traditional Values (Westport: Praeger, 2004): 1-3. However, by 1820, political and economic pressure on the South placed a wedge between the North and South. Inquiries Journal/Student Pulse [Online], 3. All rights reserved. 7. Masters and Slaves in the House of the Lord: Race and Religion in the American South, 1740-1870. It was through storytelling that many ancient cultures preserved and passed... During World War II, the black press and several prominent black leaders called for a “Double V” victory against fascism abroad and against Jim Crow at home. Reprinted by Dover, New York, 1969. A good story can be intriguingly informative, a good story can well up deep emotions and a good story can carry culture, history and tradition. Slavery and Religion in the Antebellum South. Martha Tomhave Blauvelt, Published By: The Johns Hopkins University Press, Read Online (Free) relies on page scans, which are not currently available to screen readers. Religion and SlaveryFrom the beginning of the Atlantic slave trade, Western nations used religious doctrine to justify the enslavement of Africans. 5 Mark A. Noll, “The ible and Slavery,” in Religion and the American Civil War, ed. Access supplemental materials and multimedia. For terms and use, please refer to our Terms and Conditions Additionally, slavery in the crusades was not done for the same financial gain that slavery in the antebellum south was. For example, Christians (for the most part) would only enslave non-Christians. Discovering the Women in Slavery: Emancipating Perspectives on the American Past. John B. Boles, ed., Masters and Slaves in the House of the Lord: Race and Religion in the. xv.) Morton, Patricia. For many decades, scholars have debated the importance of religion in helping slaves cope with the horrible experience of slavery in the antebellum South. Twenty-five years after its original publication, Slave Religion remains a classic in the study of African American history and religion. African American slaves photographed after the Civil War, From the 1920s to the 1960s, Newbell N. Puckett was the major name in researching religion and slavery. Southerners in the antebellum period. Slave trading was a lucrative business, but it sometimes led to the breakup of slave … Ruiz, Dorothy S. Amazing Grace: African American Grandmothers as caregivers and Conveyors of Traditional Values. Each of Contents. Albert J. Raboteau, Slave Religion: The Invisible Institution in the Antebellum South (New York: xxv.) Buy Slave Religion: The Invisible Institution in the Antebellum South Updated by Raboteau, Albert J. In addition, in his view, blacks emulated white culture in general, adopting Christianity but keeping the African tendency of concentrating on the relationship between man and God, with no heavy accent on morality. In the beginning the two Westport: Praeger, 2004. Slavery was integral to the agricultural economies of the South, and thus to the nation’s prosperity, in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Thus, as we follow this time trajectory one can see that from the 1920s to the 1960s, the views about slaves’ religion were very biased and Eurocentric, but even then, the forms of resistance to slave-owners’ control through religion were quite obvious. Eds. issue presents in-depth reviews of over thirty of the newest books in Religion also provided them with the opportunity to gain some education, as Methodist preachers often encouraged owners to teach slaves to read .xxxviii  One final and crucial role that religion played in the lives of slave women (and fueled their resistance to slavery) was to help them find a sense of sisterhood, through such things as being able to meet in church, communally helping the church, nursing the ill, and taking care of the children. Slaves' religious songs. Many slaves turned to religion for inspiration and solace. As was the case throughout the Antebellum American South, Christianity was a key feature of Tanner’s plantation where Northup toiled as a slave. Du Bois' Double-Consciousness in the, The American Dream: Discourses of Equality and Achievability for Black Americans, Addressing Shortcomings in Afro-Pessimism, Do African-American Female Stereotypes Still Exist in Television? Books © 2020 Inquiries Journal/Student Pulse LLC. From the early 1920s through the 1960s, the accent was put on the variety of religious traditions and rituals of the antebellum Southern slaves, but without them receiving the credit for these traditions, which were considered as being adaptations of European beliefs and rituals. MUSE delivers outstanding results to the scholarly community by maximizing revenues for publishers, providing value to libraries, and enabling access for scholars worldwide. It accurately understands that Black life exists outside of the traditional humanist metric, and Blackness... Scandal, the first network drama in decades to star an African-American woman, reaches millions of viewers on a weekly basis. Slave women whose children were being sold away had at least the hope that God would protect them and she would meet them again in Heaven.xxxvii Thus, religion was a comfort in this world for slave women, especially when they were separated from their children. Download books for free. The enslaved persons were treated unfairly and forced into labor. This article investigates the significance that families and partnerships played in fostering the emotional support necessary to sustain enslaved peoples throughout the onslaught... A close scrutiny through a text-based analysis of Frederick Douglass’ Narrative of the Life Of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Written by Himself (1845), would reveal, unquestionably, that this narrative reflects the condition of the... What is the meaning of the American Dream for educated black Americans? He affirmed that most African-American religious beliefs were borrowed from European Americans.i Slave women were especially prone to this influence, since they were working in the houses of their masters, and passed on this knowledge to their children,ii which perpetuated the European beliefs in the slave population at large. Terms of Use :: Privacy Policy :: Contact. Being the ones to impart the traditions and values to the young generation, through storytelling, they were the ones who set the standard for suitable behavior-all this, while withstanding the brutality of slavery and empowering their families and fellow slaves. The role of personal property in our lives is one that to a very great extent we take for granted. New York: Oxford University Press, 1978. $14.75. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2002. Effects of Collectivistic and Individualistic Cultures on Imagination Inflation in Eastern and Western Cultures, Chinese Women and Christianity in the Late Imperial Era, Gender-Specific Language of the Major Prophets in The Hebrew Bible: The Case of the First and Second Isaiah, Byzantine and Russian Influences in Andrei Rublev's Art, Creating Life Within the Confines of Slavery: Comparing Northrup's Memoir. Some examples include hoodoo doctors giving charms to run away,ix root chewingx or walking backwards and throwing dirt over the left shoulder to avoid whipping,xi and bewitching the master’s wife to feel the whipping.xii He also contended that black churches had their own traits: the music, songs, and the spontaneous dance-rhythm.xiii Moreover, learning the bible by singing (because slaves were not taught to read or write), and singing spirituals to let fellow slaves know of a religious meeting at nightxiv were also noted by Puckett as traits of the slaves’ agency. Purchase this issue for $44.00 USD. Request Permissions. Patricia Morton focused on slave women, their common images of Jezebels and Mammys, their lack of protection in front of hard labor, and their lack of being respected as women and mothers. 2011. Slavery in the Antebellum South In the early part of the nineteenth century, many Americans believed that the institution of slavery would soon die out of its own accord. Albert J. Raboteau, retired Princeton University Professor of Religion, wrote an exceptional book on the religious lives of African American slaves before the Civil War. "When I can read my title clear": literacy, slavery, and religion in the antebellum South User Review - Not Available - Book Verdict. This trend of focusing on the slaves’ agency continued in the next decade. 2000. in their rituals and upheld the image of the healing, exorcist priest). , Basu-Zharku, Iulia O. "Slavery and Religion in the Antebellum South." Eugene Genovese, Roll, Jordan, Roll: The World the Slaves Made (New York: Pantheon, 1974); Albert Raboteau, Slave Religion: The Invisible Institution in the Antebellum South (New York: Oxford University Press, 1978). One of the largest publishers in the United States, the Johns Hopkins University Press combines traditional books and journals publishing units with cutting-edge service divisions that sustain diversity and independence among nonprofit, scholarly publishers, societies, and associations. Later on, in the 1970s and 1980s these traditions are considered as actually having been weak among the Southern slaves, replaced by Christianity, which, however, was adapted by the slaves according to their needs. Slave Religion The "Invisible Institution" in the Antebellum South. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1988. xl.) "Slave Religion in the Antebellum South", African American Religious History: A Documentary Witness, Milton C. Sernett. 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