By K. Lampley
In this certain quantity, Lampley analyzes the theology of Nat Turner's violent slave uprising in juxtaposition with outdated testomony perspectives of prophetic violence and Jesus' politics of violence within the New testomony and in attention of the heritage of Christian violence and the violence embedded in conventional Christian theology.
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Extra info for A Theological Account of Nat Turner: Christianity, Violence, and Theology
Since 1964, black religious scholars and preachers have reacted to Washington’s claims by constructing a contemporary Black Theology that illuminates black experience in light of the Word of God. ”4 Absent from theological foundation, black religion for Washington relies on this racial bond of freedom and agitation. 5 He concludes that separatism and segregation do not have a place in Christianity. For Washington, black religion has lost its connection to the original and unifying theology of the Christian church.
Turner’s religious, spiritual, and theological understanding guided his revolutionary actions. Thus, Nat Turner falls within the context of the tradition of African American religious resistance to slavery, racism, and white supremacy. Turner’s theology revealed a radical strain of black religion that rejects slavery and dehumanization in totality. The question for black Christians is whether Jesus Christ can also empathize with Nat Turner’s insurrection. Does Jesus condemn 38 A Theological Account of Nat Turner Turner for his resort to violent insurrection?
Turner’s rebellion reflected the black state of bondage and slavery in 1831. The 1960s, by contrast, were a strikingly different time in American history. In the case of Nat Turner, it can be argued that violence was necessary and inevitable to break the stranglehold of the peculiar institution. The bloody US Civil War, brother killing brother, illustrated the entrenched, intractable white Southern consciousness on black slavery. The South was unwilling to give up its slaves without a fight. Turner’s revolutionary actions simply anticipated this impending and necessarily violent struggle.