Critical Essay 6 - Danielle Britt Critical Essay#6 How did...

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Danielle Britt- Critical Essay #6 How did white masters and their slaves interpret Christianity in nineteenth century America? How did their situation in life directly affect their respective interpretations? Most Christians have the basic beliefs that there is one God, and the Bible is God’s instructions for his people. Christians, however, are left to interpret God’s word on their own accord. Many times, people’s situation in life directly affects their interpretation of how they should live a Godly life. While both whites and blacks claimed Christianity as their religion, each group interpreted the religion very differently. White, slave owning Christians used their interpretation of Christianity to justify slavery and their treatment of slaves. On the other hand, Christian slaves utilized the message they interpreted to make sense of their inferior situation. Black Christians found solstice in the Bible by focusing on stories of redemption for innocent sufferers. While both white and black Christians read the same Bible and claimed to practice the same religion, how they interpreted the Bible and practiced Christianity was very different due to their respective situations. African slaves contributed much of their suffering to what Frederick Douglass called the “slaveholding religion of [the] land”, a Christianity very different from the Christianity in which black slaves found comfort. i In fact, the Christianity of the white slave-owners perpetuated black suffering for it gave white masters a “religious sanction and support for [their] slaveholding cruelty”.
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