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Free Lecture — Christian Slaveholding: From Biblical Times to Abolition

Fifty and Better (FAB) March Lecture Series

Free Lecture — Christian Slaveholding: From Biblical Times to Abolition

How did so many Christian churches end up being in favor of slavery prior to the U.S. Civil War? How did Christians justify slaveholding? Is it really true that people “didn’t know slavery was wrong back then?” In this lecture, The Rev. Chris Kellerman, SJ, will explore the history of how Christianity, with particular focus on the Catholic Church, justified keeping human beings as enslaved chattel, addressing such topics as the presence of slavery in the Bible and the theological debates that surrounded the Atlantic trade in African slaves.

Christopher J. Kellerman, SJ, is a Jesuit priest originally from Arlington, Texas. He studied at Texas Tech University, the University of Dallas, and Regis College at the University of Toronto. He recently served as visiting fellow and interim director at the Jesuit Social Research Institute at Loyola University New Orleans where he engaged in research, education, and advocacy on issues related to racial justice, environmental justice, and political polarization. Kellerman works in the Office of Justice and Ecology of the U.S. Central and Southern Province of the Society of Jesus. He is the author of All Oppression Shall Cease: A History of Slavery, Abolitionism, and the Catholic Church (Orbis, 2022)

Fifty and Better was designed to offer university-level courses and lectures (no tests, no homework) taught by experts in the field, and to host social engagement activities for people age 50 and older.


Register by March 17, by 1 p.m.

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Fifty and Better


Christina Tierney