The USU Religious Studies Program & USU History Department are sponsoring a symposium: Black Religious Experience in American History at USU on Oct 24-25. Speakers include Albert Raboteau, Emeritus Professor of Religion at Princeton, the foremost expert on the religion of the American slaves prior to Lincoln's emancipation.
His work helped uncover an obscure world theretofore only glimpsed through the distorted lens of the slaveholders. In his book “Slave Religion: The Invisible Institution in the Antebellum” Raboteau says that rich and humane voices of former slaves “...spoke of slavery as a central religious and moral fact in the history of our nation. A fact that could not be excused as an exception to the ‘real’ American story.” And he quotes Howard Thurman: “By some amazing but vastly creative spiritual insight the slave undertook the redemption of a religion that the master had profaned in his midst.” Albert Raboteau’s books also “Canaan Land: A Religious History of African Americans,” “Fire in the Bones: Reflections on African American Religious History,” and the memoir “A Sorrowful Joy.”