All Oppression Shall Cease : A History of Slavery, Abolitionism, and the Catholic Church
By: Christopher J. Kellerman, SJ
“In the hopes of a better future, Kellerman unflinchingly documents the Catholic Church's complex relationship to slavery from Biblical times to abolitionism in the nineteenth-century Americas. This remarkable study is deeply researched, clearly written, and powerfully honest; it deserves to be widely read.”—David Wheat, author, Atlantic Africa and the Spanish Caribbean, 1570-1640
“As necessary as it is painful, the story Kellerman tells in this clearly written volume needs to be discussed in classrooms and acknowledged in our churches. May it lead to conversion of hearts and of institutions.”—Jennifer Glancy, author, Slavery as Moral Problem: In the Early Church and Today
“By synthesizing much research and turning it into crisp prose and clear thinking, Christopher J. Kellerman has given us a necessary guide. . . . Shines a powerful light on a dimly understood corner of history.”—Andrés Reséndez, author, The Other Slavery: The Uncovered Story of Indian Enslavement in America
“While Protestantism´s links to antislavery movements have been deeply investigated, in this brave book Kellerman takes a less explored vein to show how Catholic doctrine, officials, and writings for centuries legitimated proslavery policies and practices. Following the long historical path from Catholicism’s legitimation of slavery to its current condemnation of it, this book addresses a crucial topic in the modern era and is worthy reading for anyone interested in understanding debates over bondage and freedom.”—Angela Alonso, author, The Last Abolition: The Brazilian Antislavery Movement, 1868–1888
In this thought-provoking work, Christopher J. Kellerman provides a rigorously researched, era-by-era history of the Catholic Church’s teachings and actions related to slavery. By telling stories of enslaved Catholics and Catholic slaveholders, analyzing arguments of theologians who either defended or condemned slaveholding, and examining documents of popes and councils, Kellerman’s book reveals disturbing answers to contemporary questions about the Church’s role in the history of slavery and especially in the Atlantic slave trade. For students, teachers, and all readers interested in how religion can be used both to oppress and to liberate, All Oppression Shall Cease gives a detailed account of the Church’s slaveholding past while issuing a call for the Church to take the necessary steps to reconcile with its history.
Christopher J. Kellerman, SJ, works in the Office of Justice and Ecology of the U.S. Central and Southern Province of the Society of Jesus. He recently served as visiting fellow and interim director at the Jesuit Social Research Institute at Loyola University New Orleans.