Christianity and Slavery

Am so tired of hearing about how slavery is as common in Christianity as it is in Islam...rubbish. Great article on the topic at First Things (an excellent journal which I highly recommend). This is just one paragraph:

Once it was recognized that the slave had a soul just as did the master, it could not forever be justified that he be another person’s chattel. In the year 649, Clovis II, king of the Franks, married a slave—who later began a campaign to halt the traffic in slaves. The Catholic Church now honors her as St. Bathilda. Charlemagne and others later also opposed the practice in Christian Europe. According to historian Rodney Stark, “slavery ended in medieval Europe only because the church extended its sacraments to all slaves and then managed to impose a ban on the enslavement of Christians (and of Jews). Within the context of medieval Europe, that prohibition was effectively a rule of universal abolition.” And in the New World, when the Spanish conquistadors were energetically enslaving South American Indians, and importing black Africans as slaves as well, their chief opponent was a Catholic missionary and bishop, Bartolome de las Casas (1474–1566), who was instrumental in compelling the Spanish crown to enact a law in 1542 prohibiting the enslavement of the Indians.

Comments

Rob said…
Further evidence is that it was British evangelicals who campaigned to end the slave trade world-wide in the 19th century, and the abolitionists in America were all, essentially, fundamentalist Christians.
Just watched the movie "Amazing Grace". Was about that very subject of the slave trade and of how William Wilberforce an Evangelical Christian member of the House of Commons struggled to end the British slave trade.

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