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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

Still Letting My People Go: An Analysis of Eli Washington Carutherís Manuscript against American Slavery and Its Universal Application of Exodus 10:3
Davidson, Jack R.

Eugene, OR: Pickwick, 2018 pp. xiii + 229. $29.00


Description: Eli Washington Caruthersís unpublished manuscript, American Slavery and the Immediate Duty of Southern Slaveholders, is the arresting and authentic alternative to the nineteenth-century hermeneutics that supported slavery. On the basis of Exodus 10.3óďLet my people go that they may serve meĒóCaruthers argued that God was acting in history against all slavery. Unlike arguments guided largely by the New Testament, Caruthers believed that the Exodus text was a privileged passage to which all thinking on slavery must conform. As the most extensive development of the Exodus text within the field of antislavery literature, Caruthersís manuscript is an invaluable primary source. It is especially relevant to historiansí current appraisal of the biblical sanction for slavery in nineteenth-century America because it does not correspond to characterizations of antislavery literature as biblically weak. To the contrary, an analysis of Caruthersís manuscript reveals a thoroughly reasoned biblical argument unlike any other produced during the nineteenth century against the hermeneutics supporting slavery.

Subjects: Bible, Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Pentateuch, Exodus, Literature, Methods, Ideological Critique, Liberation Approaches, Reception History

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Review by Ralph K. Hawkins
Published 10/17/2019
Citation: Ralph K. Hawkins, review of Jack R. Davidson, Still Letting My People Go: An Analysis of Eli Washington Carutherís Manuscript against American Slavery and Its Universal Application of Exodus 10:3, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2019).


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