Black theological perspectives on slavery to be explored

By staff writers
March 29, 2007

As discussion continues over how the Church of England and others might make reparations for their part in the slave trade, a major international conference is to look at the legacy of slavery in theological terms.

'Freedom is for Freeing', which is being backed by amongst others the Methodist Church, is one of many events marking the 200th anniversary of the bill abolishing the transatlantic slave trade.

The event is drawing speakers from Africa, the Caribbean and the Americas as well as from Britain.

Black theological perspectives on slavery will be explored through art, music and workshops as well as essays and lectures. There will also be exhibitions and space to discuss the issues raised. The organisers believe that Freedom is for Freeing is the first major conference in Britain to examine the implications of slavery in Britain and worldwide, from the perspective of Black Liberation Theology.

'Freedom is for Freeing' is not just about looking back 200 hundred years to the long struggle to end the British slave trade, say the organisers. It will look at the issues that have continued since 1807 and what these mean for us today.

The conference is designed to appeal to academics, ministers, theologians and anyone with an interest in black theology, racial justice or the worldwide church's ongoing campaigns against modern-day slavery.

Naboth Muchopa, Racial Justice Secretary for The Methodist Church, said: "The pioneering spirit and fight for liberation, justice and freedom displayed by the abolitionists could help us today in our continued struggle against the legacies of slavery and against modern days forms of slavery. We want to encourage the Methodist people to participate in events taking place locally and nationally. The Conference at Queen’s offers such an opportunity and we support it as part of our mission in our struggle for freedom, equality and justice."

The ecumenical event is being supported by a grant from The Methodist Church.

'Freedom is for Freeing' takes place at the Queen’s Foundation in Birmingham on 13-15 July

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