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About this Lecture
In this module, we think about religious life among enslaved peoples, focusing in particular on the question of why slaves chose to adopt Christianity. As we move through the module, we consider: (i) the extent to which attitudes towards Christianity among slaves changed between the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries; (ii) the practical advantages of slaves’ conversion to Christianity, such as the ability to assemble and socialise in much larger groups than would otherwise be permitted; (iii) the attractiveness of particular stories in the Bible, especially the story of Exodus; (iv) the compatibility of Christianity with traditional African religious practices; and (v) the inherent optimism of Christianity, with its promise of a better life after death.
In this course, Professor Tim Lockley (University of Warwick) explores the history of slavery in the United States. We begin in the first module with an exploration of the earliest history of slavery in Africa and the development of the transatlantic slave trade. After that, we turn to the domestic slave trade – i.e. the buying and selling of slaves within the United States – before turning in the third module to the question of the kind of work that enslaved individuals did. In the fourth module, we think about the kind of relationship that enslaved people had with their owners, while in the fifth we think about what enslaved people did in their free time. In the sixth module, we think about enslaved people’s family life, in the seventh their health, and in the eighth their religious life – focusing in particular on why so many enslaved people converted to Christianity. In the ninth module, we think about slave culture – how enslaved people spoke, what they ate, the kinds of stories they told and songs they sang – before turning in the tenth module to consider the ways in which enslaved people resisted slavery. In the eleventh module, we think about why there were so few slave rebellions in the United States, while in the twelfth and final module, we think about how attitudes towards race factored into the workings of slavery in the United States.
Tim Lockley is Professor of American History at the University of Warwick. where his teaching and research interests include colonial and antebellum North America, with a particular focus on slavery and the South. He has written and edited a number of books, including 2009’s Welfare and Charity and the Antebellum South. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge.
Cite this Lecture
Lockley, T. (2019, October 17). Slavery in the United States, c.1500-1865 - Religion [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://www.massolit.io/courses/slavery-in-the-united-states-c-1500-1865/religion-73b39750-7031-4eb3-9564-60556e33acda
Lockley, T. "Slavery in the United States, c.1500-1865 – Religion." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 17 Oct 2019, https://www.massolit.io/courses/slavery-in-the-united-states-c-1500-1865/religion-73b39750-7031-4eb3-9564-60556e33acda