Jeremy Schipper, "Denmark Vesey's Bible: The Thwarted Revolt That Put Slavery and Scripture on Trial" (Princeton UP, 2022)


In Denmark Vesey's Bible: The Thwarted Revolt that Put Slavery and Scripture on Trial (Princeton UP, 2022), Dr. Jeremy Schipper tells the story of a free Black man accused of plotting an anti-slavery insurrection in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1822. Vesey was found guilty and hanged along with dozens of others accused of collaborating with him.

At the center of the book is an examination of how former slave Denmark Vesey used interpretations of the Bible to justify the revolt while members of the white establishment in South Carolina use that same Bible to support the slaveholders view of themselves as benevolent biblical patriarchs. 

The book is a riveting account of a key moment in antebellum American history that underscores deep racial inequities and the assumed supremacy of white Christians during a time of violence, fear, and conflicting understandings of moral superiority and biblical truth.

Recommended reading: 

The Denmark Vesey Affair: A Documentary History edited by Douglas R. Egerton and Robert L. Paquette

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Meghan Cochran

Meghan Cochran studies human systems of belief as a technologist and student of religion, business, and literature.
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