Social Sin

Molly Oshatz

in Slavery and Sin

Published in print November 2011 | ISBN: 9780199751686
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199918799 | DOI:
Social Sin

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The recognition of moral progress altered the meaning of slavery’s sinfulness. This chapter explores the moderates’ definition of slavery as a social, or organic, sin. During a debate about missions and slavery that took place within the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, antislavery moderates including Leonard Bacon and Edward Beecher departed from the orthodox understanding of sin in order to oppose slavery without condemning all slaveholders of sin. As this chapter explains, the moderates eventually moved away from the idea of social sin as they abandoned their faith in persuasion and their desire to conciliate slaveholders.

Keywords: progress; missions; social sin; ABCFM; Leonard Bacon; Edward Beecher

Chapter.  9064 words. 

Subjects: Christianity

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