Moses arises as a transforming and transformative symbol in African American religious imagination. From the Antebellum period through the era of the Black Power Movement, Black communities summoned the Moses figure both from the Hebrew Bible and from alternative traditions—some older and some newer than the biblical Moses—to point to freedom’s next horizon.
This Elie Wiesel Memorial Lecture with Herbert Marbury discusses ways that African Americans deploy Moses traditions as a counter-narrative over successive eras of repression.
Herbert R. Marbury teaches at Vanderbilt University Divinity School and researches how biblical texts come to have various meanings both in the ancient world and in the contemporary worlds of modern U.S. communities. In the ancient world, he focuses on Judah under Persian and Hellenistic imperial domination, which are the societies from which much of the literature of the Hebrew Bible emerged. In his first book, “Imperial Dominion and Priestly Genius” (Sopher Press, 2012), he focuses on Ezra-Nehemiah and asks, “What meaning(s) might Ezra-Nehemiah have held for elites in Persian Jerusalem?”+ More... - Less...
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