Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Hostname: page-component-848d4c4894-5nwft Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-05-23T17:14:00.060Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

3 - “Texts … Designed for Local and Temporary Use”

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  12 June 2021

Jordan T. Watkins
Affiliation:
Brigham Young University, Utah
Get access

Summary

This chapter outlines antislavery readings of the Bible during the 1830s and 1840s, highlighting their implications for historical awareness. It shows how words such as context, circumstance, and accommodation seeped into the readings of figures who demonstrated little interest in or awareness of biblical criticism and suggests that even interpretations that did not privilege historical explication sometimes challenged the assumption of a close correspondence between biblical and modern times. The historicizing process began with the most distant periods in question, the Old Testament eras, before encroaching on the period of the New Testament. As debate rested on the New Testament, a number of antislavery readers argued that Christ and his apostles had planted the seeds of slavery’s abolition, a reading that further highlighted historical distance. The argument that the universal principles would find fulfillment in the future drew attention to the distance between the biblical past and the American present. This contention, which retained faith in sacred texts, held great potential to spread awareness of that distance.

Type
Chapter
Information
Slavery and Sacred Texts
The Bible, the Constitution, and Historical Consciousness in Antebellum America
, pp. 109 - 133
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×