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A Theological Account of Nat TurnerConclusion

A Theological Account of Nat Turner: Conclusion [Nat Turner’s slave insurrection emanated from his radical black theology and rebellious black religion. His social location as a religious, educated, and gifted yet poor, black, male slave, combined with his historical age in the intractable and inherently violent state of slavery in Virginia of 1831, determined the starting place for his revolutionary theology and violent rebellion. Turner recognized the glaring inconsistency between his personal attributes and worth before God and his actual place in front of white society. Ironically, both whites and blacks recognized his uncommon intelligence and austere manner suggesting to him that he had too much sense to be a slave. 1 Turner’s unique sensibility and giftedness cried out against the injustice of slavery. Turner acutely experienced what James H. Cone calls “existential absurdity.” 2 According to Cone, existential absurdity concerns the blatant contradiction between what is and what ought to be for blacks, between blacks’ view of themselves as created in the image of God and America’s description of black humanity as things and property. 3 Turner’s spiritual gifts and privileged background made the existential absurdity of his marginalization and enslavement that much more pronounced. Turner did not use his giftedness and privilege to separate himself from other slaves, however, but rather directed his calling and his vocation toward the holistic salvation and freedom of all black slaves.] http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png

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Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan US
Copyright
© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Nature America Inc. 2013
ISBN
978-1-349-45923-0
Pages
123 –158
DOI
10.1057/9781137322968_6
Publisher site
See Chapter on Publisher Site

Abstract

[Nat Turner’s slave insurrection emanated from his radical black theology and rebellious black religion. His social location as a religious, educated, and gifted yet poor, black, male slave, combined with his historical age in the intractable and inherently violent state of slavery in Virginia of 1831, determined the starting place for his revolutionary theology and violent rebellion. Turner recognized the glaring inconsistency between his personal attributes and worth before God and his actual place in front of white society. Ironically, both whites and blacks recognized his uncommon intelligence and austere manner suggesting to him that he had too much sense to be a slave. 1 Turner’s unique sensibility and giftedness cried out against the injustice of slavery. Turner acutely experienced what James H. Cone calls “existential absurdity.” 2 According to Cone, existential absurdity concerns the blatant contradiction between what is and what ought to be for blacks, between blacks’ view of themselves as created in the image of God and America’s description of black humanity as things and property. 3 Turner’s spiritual gifts and privileged background made the existential absurdity of his marginalization and enslavement that much more pronounced. Turner did not use his giftedness and privilege to separate himself from other slaves, however, but rather directed his calling and his vocation toward the holistic salvation and freedom of all black slaves.]

Published: Oct 28, 2015

Keywords: American Revolution; Reasonable Prospect; Black Slave; Righteous Indignation; Spiritual Freedom

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