Because I have a love/hate relationship with religion — i. e. I’m fascinated by it as a cultural force, but tend to abhor the ways it can and has been used as a tool of hatred and oppression — I occasionally like to read and reread religious texts. Occasionally I discover something profoundly poetic and beautiful in the text. Other times I’m touched by the simultaneous fallibility and triumph of the human spirit as it struggles valiantly to transcend the realm of the mundane. Sometimes, though, I just get pissed off. Today, a slight diversion from my research.
Dr. G on religion Friday, Sep 24 2010
“The Quakers definitely emerged from the slavery controversy with the best PR out of all the religions, it seems.” I was hunkered down under a tree across the way from the commuter rail. This was the only time both Dr. G and I had free to talk, and I wanted to disturb my fellow commuters as little as possible with this phone call.
“That’s true,” she replied. “The Quakers were early abolitionists which dovetails nicely with the narrative of their persecution in Massachusetts. But history is always much more complicated than that. Quakers weren’t persecuted everywhere.”
Religioulousness. Tuesday, Aug 10 2010
It’s pretty commonly understood that religion had a rather schizophrenic relationship with slavery. Some denominations and clerics endorsed it, citing Biblical exhortations for slaves to “obey their masters.” Others were abolitionist pioneers. One finds, with almost everything, that religion’s role was contingent upon many other factors: location and economics, to name just two. The first in what will likely be multiple entries centering on religion.