Synopses & Reviews
In a United States that continues to be driven by racial and cultural divisions, from the disproportionately high number of incarcerated African Americans to heartfelt disagreements over the true nature of marriage and the proper role of faith in public policy, the Feminist Sexual Ethics Project (from which this book originated) has identified a crucial nexus underlying these fiercest of arguments: The conjunction of religion, slavery, and sexuality.
"Reading through this collection of essays was a riveting experience. It combines insightful discussions of women, religion, and sexuality with careful historical analysis of slavery. I enthusiastically recommend it, especially for its insights about U.S. racism."--Traci C. West, Professor of Ethics and African American Studies, Drew University Theological School
“This book revolutionizes our understanding of the moral and ethical legacies of slavery, particularly the sexual exploitation of women and girls. These essays implicate religious texts and practices in slaverys many forms, both ancient and modern. Yet we are reminded that Christianity, Judaism, and Islam also contain the hope, mercy, and compassion that can speak powerfully to slaverys truth and help us overcome its remnants. With a bold and passionate call for a new sexual ethics and public policies liberated from the taint of enslavement, this book rests its claims on the brilliant work of an extraordinary scholarly collaboration.”--Barbara D. Savage, Geraldine R. Segal Professor of American Social Thought and Professor of History, University of Pennsylvania and author of Your Spirits Walk Beside Us: The Politics of Black Religion
“An important and thought-provoking book that challenges readers to relinquish the popular notion that slavery is long in the past and to confront the ways in which its legacy continues to shape many of our social institutions.”--Judith Plaskow, Professor of Religious Studies, Manhattan College
“One might have thought that the study of slavery and sexuality had been thoroughly mined, but these fascinating essays prove that view wrong. By examining slavery through the lens of the diverse religions that accommodated it, these authors illustrate the inevitable role of religion in regulating sexuality in slave societies, exposing it at work in unexpected and fascinating ways - in early Roman amphitheaters, Jewish marriages, Thomas Jeffersons plantation, and contemporary debates over welfare and prisons. After reading these essays, you will not see sexuality, or religion, the same way again.”--Adrienne D. Davis, William M. Van Cleve Professor of Law, Washington University School of Law
About the Author
Bernadette J. Brooten is Kraft-Hiatt Professor of Christian Studies at Brandeis University. Jacqueline L. Hazelton is a Ph.D. Candidate in Politics at Brandeis University.
Table of Contents
Introduction--Bernadette J. Brooten * PART I: A PRAYER * Prayer for my daughter (Poem)--Nancy Rawles * PART II: OVERCOMING SLAVERYS LEGACIES IN THE UNITED STATES * The Paradox of Silence and Display: Sexual Violation of Enslaved Women, and Contemporary Contradictions in Black Female Sexuality--Dorothy Roberts * From Mammy to Welfare Queen: Images of Black Women in Public-Policy Formation--Emilie M. Townes * From Plantations to Prisons: African American Women Prisoners in the United States--Ellen Barry * PART III: OVERCOMING SLAVERYS LEGACIES IN RELIGIOUS LAW * The Purchase of His Money: Slavery and the Ethics of Jewish Marriage--Gail Labovitz * Slavery and Sexual Ethics in Islam--Kecia Ali * PART IV: ANCIENT ORIGINS OF THE PROBLEM * “She Shall Not Go Free as Male Slaves Do”: Developing Views About Slavery and Gender in the Laws of the Hebrew Bible--David P. Wright * Early Christianity, Slavery, and Womens Bodies--Jennifer A. Glancy * Gender, Slavery, and Technology: The Shaping of the Early Christian Moral Imagination--Sheila Briggs * PART V: WHY SEXUAL ETHICS NEEDS HISTORY * “As If She Were His Wife”: Slavery and Sexual Ethics in Late Medieval Spain--Debra Blumenthal * Love, Sex, Slavery, and Sally Hemings--Mia Bay * Breaking the Silence: Sexual Hypocrisies from Thomas Jefferson to Strom Thurmond--Catherine Clinton * PART VI: SHOULD THE BIBLE FORM THE BASIS OF PUBLIC POLICY * The Bible, Slavery, and the Problem of Authority--Sylvester A. Johnson * The "Purity of the White Woman, Not the Purity of the Negro Woman": The Contemporary Legacies of Historical Laws Against Interracial Marriage--Fay Botham * PART VII: THE STORIES WE TELL * Mammys Daughters; Or, the DNA of a Feminist Sexual Ethics--Frances Smith Foster * PART VIII: RESTORATIVE JUSTICE * Enslaved Black Women: A Theology of Justice and Reparations--Dwight N. Hopkins * PART IX: A MEDITATION * A Visit from the Old Mistress (Poem)--Florence Ladd * Epilogue--Mende Nazer, with Bernadette J. Brooten