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Bernadette Brooten: How Catholicism Changed

From Official Approval of Slavery to Prohibiting It

Date of Lecture: September 19, 2016

Bernadette BrootenAbout the Speaker: Bernadette J. Brooten is the Kraft-Hiatt Professor of Christian Studies, and a professor of women's and gender studies, of classical studies, and of religious studies at Brandeis University. She edited the book "Beyond Slavery: Overcoming Its Religious and Sexual Legacies" (Palgrave MacMillan, 2010) and is the author of "Women Leaders in The Ancient Synagogue: Inscriptional Evidence and Background Issues" and "Love Between Women: Early Christian Responses to Female Homoeroticism."

About the Talk: Brooten traces the Church’s changing position on slavery, from references in the New Testament and early canon law that fully tolerate slavery to the current teachings which prohibit it. Finally, she considers reparations to descendants of enslaved people, such as those owned and sold in 1838 by Jesuits with connections to Georgetown University and the College of the Holy Cross.

Brooten's lecture was co-sponsored with the Class of 1956 Chair in New Testament Studies.