This “moral predisposition” was why the second successful abolitionist wave in the beginning of the nineteenth century was led by William Wilberforce and other Christian politicians. And in this country the abolitionist campaign which brought about an end to slavery was led by Christians as well.
What Stark calls the “moral potential for an antislavery conclusion” lay uniquely within Christian thought. Despite the Bible’s apparent acknowledgment of slavery, what the Bible taught us about God and man led Christians to conclude that the holding of another man or woman in bondage was a sin. This religious appeal is why the people of Britain taxed themselves to abolish slavery in the West Indies.
Unfortunately, this is not the story being told in our schools and universities. While the faith of men like Wilberforce might be acknowledged, the story of how Christianity, and Christianity alone, led to the abolition of slavery won’t be. That’s why you need to learn this story. If Christians aren’t going to set the record straight, who will? Certainly not the ideologues to whom Christianity and its “moral predispositions” are even more repugnant than slavery itself.
For further reading and information:
Rodney Stark, For the Glory of God: How Monotheism Led to Reformations, Science, Witch-Hunts and the End of Slavery (Princeton University Press, 2003).
Learn more about the Sudan slavery issue .
Kevin Belmonte, Hero for Humanity: A Biography of William Wilberforce (NavPress, 2003).
Vincent Carroll and David Shiflett, Christianity on Trial: Arguments against Anti-Religious Bigotry (Encounter, 2000).
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