Within The Antebellum Era In The South, Slave Religion

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Within the Antebellum Era in the south, Slave Religion written by Albert Raboteau, depicts the control and oversight on Christianity that white plantation masters have over their slaves who chose to practice the faith ruled by them. The novel shares the struggles slaves had while practicing Christianity and worshiping God around powerful white figures who forced the one sided teachings of scriptures as a way to keep their slaves working hard in the fields. An assortment of first and second-hand accounts combine within the novel, showing various elements of oppressed slaves struggling to practice religion under their masters control. Throughout the novel Slave Religion, there is a depiction of how African Slaves transformed their religion with …show more content…

As stated in Slave Religion, “most slave preachers were hampered by illiteracy in a religion that placed such importance on the written word of the Bible. White folks would sometimes read a biblical verse for the preacher, and he would proceed to preach from it to his fellow slaves” (Raboteau 233). As illiteracy put a barrier between the Bible and the preacher, the Word of the Lord had to be memorized as it was spoken to them. There are many preachers who could recite hymns with great accuracy and correctness, though there is always room for the interpretation of the preacher thus creating a variation among worship. These variations created the diversity that sums up the “black church” as there isn’t a single way the slaves worshipped the Lord as break offs of White Christianity were …show more content…

This population was already divided upon religion as the, “French-speaking free blacks, whose culture was consciously Catholic and distinct from English-speaking ‘American blacks’ who were Protestant” (Raboteau 272). There was an unmistakable separation among those who were Protestant and those who were Catholic with the ways they worshiped to the items they valued during their church services. There were documented differences between the two religions, “Prayer meetings, shouting, and spirituals – the staples of black Protestantism – were foreign to the experience of black Catholics” (Raboteau 272). Raboteau then goes in depth with how the Bible, sermon, and the role of the priest are a huge aspect of the black Catholic religion where they are not very prominent in the that of black Protestant church. Even contradictory to Protestantism there have been instances where many Catholic churches did not practice segregation within church worship. This contrast shows a major divide between religions as the Catholic church was in service difference in race was wiped away and individuals came together to worship the same God they believed in. These differences created the divide and great diversity among the religious practices of African Americans who are

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