American Slavery and the Immediate Duty of Southern Slaveholders

A Transcription of Eli Washington Caruthers's Unpublished Manuscript against Slavery

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Jack R. Davidson
  • Eugene, OR: 
    Pickwick Publications
    , July
     2018.
     196 pages.
     $25.00.
     Paperback.
    ISBN
    9781532600890.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.
Review coming soon!

Review by Stephen R. Haynes forthcoming.

Description

Eli Washington Caruthers’s unpublished manuscript, American Slavery and the Immediate Duty of Southern Slaveholders, is the arresting and authentic alternative to the nineteenth-century hermeneutics that supported slavery. On the basis of Exodus 10:3—“Let my people go that they may serve me”—Caruthers argued that God was acting in history against all slavery. Unlike arguments guided largely by the New Testament, Caruthers believed the Exodus text was a privileged passage to which all thinking on slavery must conform. As the most extensive development of the Exodus text within the field of antislavery literature, Caruthers’s manuscript is an invaluable primary source. It is especially relevant to historians’ current appraisal of the biblical sanction for slavery in nineteenth-century America because it does not correspond to characterizations of antislavery literature as biblically weak. To the contrary, Caruthers’s manuscript is a thoroughly reasoned biblical argument unlike any other produced during the nineteenth century against the hermeneutics supporting slavery.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Jack R. Davidson is Pastor of Alhambra True Light Presbyterian Church in Los Angeles and has previously served churches in Oregon and North Carolina. He has taught courses in Christianity and American Religion at the university level and written numerous papers. He is the author of "Slavery" (Oxford Encyclopedia of the Bible and Ethics, 2015).

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