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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

The Genesis of Liberation: Biblical Interpretation in the Antebellum Narratives of the Enslaved
Powery, Emerson B. and Rodney S. Sadler Jr.

Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2016 pp. xviii + 182. $35.00


Description: Considering that the Bible was used to justify and perpetuate African American enslavement, why would it be given such authority? In this fascinating volume, Powery and Sadler explore how the Bible became a source of liberation for enslaved African Americans by analyzing its function in pre-Civil War freedom narratives. They explain the various ways in which enslaved African Americans interpreted the Bible and used it as a source for hope, empowerment, and literacy. The authors show that through their own engagement with the biblical text, enslaved African Americans found a liberating word. The Genesis of Liberation recovers the early history of black biblical interpretation and will help to expand understandings of African American hermeneutics.

Subjects: Bible, Literature, Methods, Historical Approaches, History, Ideological Critique, Liberation Approaches, History of Interpretation

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Review by Christopher R. Hutson
Published 2/1/2019
Citation: Christopher R. Hutson, review of Emerson B. Powery and Rodney S. Sadler Jr., The Genesis of Liberation: Biblical Interpretation in the Antebellum Narratives of the Enslaved, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2019).


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