Slavery and Religion - Essay Example

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Slavery and Religion. Slavery refers to the concept where people were bought and sold, and subjected to forced labor. They were treated as commodities or property…
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Download file to see previous pages On the other hand, religion refers to a collection of beliefs, and cultural systems which relate humanity to spirituality as well as to morality. In most cases, religion tends to guide people in their day-to-day lives with regards to humanity, spirituality and morality. Conversely, the two aspects, religion and slavery were a salient feature in most societies. Thus, the relationship between slavery and religion has been of major concern. They are intricately interlinked. In this regard, slavery cannot be wholly exonerated from religion. On one hand, slavery played a substantial role in the establishment and growth of slavery. On the other hand, slavery contributed to the establishment and development of various religions. Taking another dimension, religion played a palpable role in the eradication of slavery. Thus on this premises, this paper analyzes the mutual relationship religion and slavery. Much emphasis is however placed on the three most prevalent religions: Christianity, Islam and Hinduism in correspondence to slavery. Prior to analyzing each of the major religions with regards to slavery, it is important to preview the concept of slavery before the existence of the world’s elaborate religions. Indeed, one thing that turns out clearly, is that slavery is of great antiquity. The ancient world was marred by various forms of servitude. These vary from class enslavement, collective slavery, sacerdotal slavery, individual enslavement to feudal enslavement1. In addition, various reasons accounted for slavery at various specified times in history. In this regards, slavery existed due to war, where those defeated in wars were captured and taken in as slaves. In some instances, slaves were purchased, other were given as gifts. In some communities, some people became slaves by virtue of birth, whereas some people gave themselves in as slaves as a settlement of debts accrued to them. In the ancient Greek, slave was a common phenomenon. This is evidenced from the records of the great Greek Philosophers Aristotle and Plato who asserted that slavery existed and was defined as the natural law of humanity2. Plato further averred that, for there to be a state of balance in the society, there must be two groups of people, the slaves, and the free. Early literary works as expressed in form of paintings and writings depicted an element of slavery which marred the ancient Greek. For instance early Poets and orators never ceased to talk ill of slavery. There works revealed the inhuman treatment to which slaves were subjected to. Most of them yearned for a revolution. They therefore advocated for freedom of slaves. In the early Roman times, slavery was palpable in the military and general life of the Romans. They extensively participated in the slave trade which was one of the lucrative ventures of the time. In most instances, they sourced their slaves form wars. However, the Roman Empire faced much resistance from slaves. The world’s renown earliest slave revolution championed by Spartacus depicts how the vice had taken root in the Roman empire3. Slaves were equated to commodities, and never acknowledged as human beings. There was however a turn of events when the Roman people embraced Christianity a while later. They began to treat slaves with humane. Ancient China was also not immune of slavery. It has been recorded that poverty intensified slavery in China to large extents4. Due to economic hardships, many people sold themselves or their family members to rich masters. Some people would also sell other to avert the economic hardships. The Indian people of ancient time also acknowledged slavery. Apparently, slavery among eth Hindus was perpetuated by the incumbent ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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