Report discloses history of slavery and racism at Southern SeminaryBreaking News
tags: slavery, racism
Across the United States, historic institutions of higher learning are being called to account for their complicity in the institutionalized racism of American slavery. Slavery was not only tolerated in many schools, but also expressly defended and even praised as divinely ordained. Though this was true of many of the most historic colleges and universities in the nation, it was particularly true of the South. Theological seminaries were not innocent of this charge, and this included The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Now, Southern Seminary faces its own reckoning in the form of a major report produced by a team of its own faculty. The reportreleased this morning recounts the history of slavery and racism at Southern Seminary — from the school’s slave-holding founders in the 19th century to its segregation-defending faculty in the early decades of the 20th century. The report, commissioned by President R. Albert Mohler Jr., represents a year of research conducted by a committee of six current and former Southern Seminary faculty members. Mohler said this comes late in the school’s history, but it represents what he called an institution-wide “honest lament” for the sins of its forebears.
“It was clearly time for this institution to come to terms with historical questions related to slavery and the institution’s founding,” Mohler said in an interview ahead of the release. “There can be no doubt that these questions are now being asked far more frequently and urgently in the larger culture, and there is no way we can separate Southern Seminary’s history from the history of our denomination — or from the history of the nation. Our responsibility is to make sure we know the truth and tell the truth about this single institution for which we have stewardship.”
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