A Theological Account of Nat Turner: Christianity, Violence, by K. Lampley

By K. Lampley

In this special quantity, Lampley analyzes the theology of Nat Turner's violent slave uprising in juxtaposition with previous testomony perspectives of prophetic violence and Jesus' politics of violence within the New testomony and in attention of the heritage of Christian violence and the violence embedded in conventional Christian theology.

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Turner, however, was compelled by the inherent violence and injustice of slavery in 1831 to respond with liberating and revolutionary prophetic violence. 34 A Theological Account of Nat Turner White Virginian Reaction White Virginians were horrified by the viciousness and limited successes of the Southampton Insurrection. Immediately, they attacked the character of Nat Turner as leader of the revolt and Baptist preacher. ”117 They discredited the uprising as delusion, superstition, fanaticism, and hatred.

Turner did what many hoped they could do that was to fight and die if necessary. Turner represented the innate desire for freedom and self-determination. He embodied the noble pursuit of liberty and equality. Even the most cynical student of history can empathize with Turner’s plight. For much less, American patriots launched a bloody and lengthy revolution against Great Britain. Notwithstanding, Turner’s uniqueness was not his existential longings for freedom but his religious devotion and theology.

His supposed failure and defeat did not sway him from faith and belief in God. Lack of visible success did not determine his understanding of the rebellion or God’s deliverance. God remained his champion. Nat Turner was hanged a willing martyr and professed prophet. 8 Charles F. ”11 Notwithstanding this cynical characterization, Turner’s insurrection did, in fact, emerge from legitimate religious, spiritual, and theological roots. In Confessions, Turner recounted the prophetic spiritual world of dreams, revelation, signs, scripture, and direct inspiration from God that guided him to rebel.

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