REL 264
The Bible and Slavery Fall 2022
Division II Difference, Power, and Equity
Cross-listed AFR 264
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Class Details

This course will examine issues related to the intersection of “slavery” and “Bible.” We will consider topics as varied as the story of Israel’s deliverance from Egyptian bondage, the laws surrounding slavery in the Torah, the continuation of slavery into early Christianity, and the arguments surrounding slavery in the United States in the antebellum period. Our conversation will tackle a series of questions including the following ones: What role did these themes play in later Jewish communities? What role did the enslaved play in the development of the Christ- following communities? What were the key passages (and, arguments) supporting the racialized version of U.S. slavery? What are the legacies of the history of slavery that continue to haunt us?
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 15
Expected: 15
Class#: 1352
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: class participation, short (2-3 page) writing assignments, one (mid- term) examination, and a final 8-10 page paper
Prerequisites: none, although a previous course on religion is recommended
Enrollment Preferences: Religion majors or at least one course in Religion
Distributions: Division II Difference, Power, and Equity
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
AFR 264 Division II REL 264 Division II
DPE Notes: This course will address discursive and institutional bases of oppression that remain potent in the United States and beyond. An understanding of slavery as a thematic element in Biblical texts (and their ongoing reception) is indispensable to the critical analysis of racial injustice and human freedom.

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