Supplement Series for the Journal of Religion & Society

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    (Rabbi Myer and Dorothy Kripke Center, Creighton University, 2023) Simkins, Ronald A.; Simkins, Ronald A.
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    An Evaluation of Black Church Rosters as a Predictor for Discriminatory Burial Location Practices in a Pioneer Cemetery
    (Rabbi Myer and Dorothy Kripke Center, Creighton University, 2023) Kokensparger, Brian; Simkins, Ronald A.
    Were historically Black churches homogenous in race over the history of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in Omaha? What was the percentage of Black citizens who regularly attended a given church, and might therefore be listed in its roster? This paper examines the rosters of historically Black churches to determine if several of the names of buried deceased persons that are already identified as “Black burials” are also among those in the church rosters, thus verifying the likelihood that the person buried was Black. It is also a possibility that currently unidentified Black burials could be newly identified by finding names among the rosters. This paper also examines the rosters of Black churches to determine if they are good predictors for Black burials in Omaha’s Prospect Hill Cemetery, and therefore could be used as identifiers of deceased persons and their families who were subjected to the discriminatory burial location practices employed in local cemeteries during the redlining era.
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    Jews and Slavery in Antebellum America: What Does the Bible Say? Why Does It Matter?
    (Rabbi Myer and Dorothy Kripke Center, Creighton University, 2023) Greenspoon, Leonard J.; Simkins, Ronald A.
    In early January 1861, several religious leaders throughout the United States took to their pulpits to consider whether slavery, as practiced in the South, was or was not supported by the Bible. Among this largely Protestant group there were a few rabbis, some of whom found biblical support for slavery, with others condemning it based on biblical teachings. In my presentation, I will summarize and analyze selected antebellum sermons within several contexts: Jewish interpretive/exegetical traditions, other (Christian) sermons delivered on the same topic, American biblical interpretation through the mid-nineteenth century, and the lasting effects and relevance of these sermons up to and including today. I invite readers to reflect on other circumstances in which the (mis)interpretation/application of the Bible has played a role in the consideration and determination of attitudes toward race.
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    Earthly Objects: Agriculture and Nature Religion in the Antebellum North
    (Rabbi Myer and Dorothy Kripke Center, Creighton University, 2023) Dougherty, Matthew W.; Simkins, Ronald A.
    The category of “nature religion,” first proposed by Catherine Albanese, drew attention to the religious work that the concept of nature has done in North America. This paper argues for the importance of nature religion in evangelical writing about agriculture during the aggressive expansion of the early and mid-nineteenth century. It argues, first, that evangelicals portrayed agriculture as redemptive: exalting human beings from economic dependency and perhaps returning the earth to an Edenic state. Second, it argues that evangelicals portrayed the extension of European-style agriculture as a way to redeem the land from “waste” and fulfil its divinely appointed purpose. Third, it argues that evangelicals read the flourishing of agriculture as a sign that the dispossession of Indigenous peoples fulfilled God’s purposes, making landscapes into texts authorizing colonial expansion.
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    An Act “More Offensive than Slavery”: Revista Católica’s Response to Lynching in the Late Nineteenth Century
    (Rabbi Myer and Dorothy Kripke Center, Creighton University, 2023) Fleming, Julia; Simkins, Ronald A.
    In the late nineteenth century, Revista Católica, a Jesuit Spanish-language weekly from New Mexico, analyzed American lynching ethically and condemned it editorially. Denouncing lynching as wrong under any circumstances, Revista’s argument evolved to include race, acknowledging non-Hispanic whites’ vigilantism against marginalized groups, and religion, since it interpreted lynching as an Anglo-Protestant practice. The review invoked lynching to discredit Protestant leaders who supported vigilantism, especially against Jesuit targets. For Revista, lynching, a barbarous act under any circumstances, also revealed the oppressive violence and hypocrisy of the dominant culture.