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Distinguished Lecture in Religious Studies

The Distinguished Lecture in Religious Studies is an annual lecture that brings some of the exciting new scholarship in the field to our campus and community.

Dr. Marla Frederick 
Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Religion and Culture
Emory University, Candler School of Theology

February 10, 2022

"The Schools of Former Slaves and the Schools of Former Slave Owners: Religion, Race and the Struggle for Education

With “the assistance and encouragement of Negro churches and black education associations, nearly 800 schools for Negroes [were established] forty-five years after slavery,” according to historian Bobby Lovett.  By 1910, 119 of the schools had become four-year colleges.  While Black religion has long been framed as “protest religion” given African Americans’ quest for spiritual and physical freedom through the Abolitionist and Civil Rights Movement, we might more fully understand black religion’s work in society if we explore its role in the development of black educational institutions.  This talk argues for a new framing of black religion that understands the quest for education as central to the church’s commitment to justice.  


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