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Grant number: FT-255030-17

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Jennifer A. Glancy
Le Moyne College (Syracuse, NY 13214-1301)

The Ancient Christian Understanding of Slavery and Contemporary Discourse on the Meaning of Being Human

Writing of a book connecting ancient Christian understandings of slavery and contemporary scholarship on the meaning of being human.

I am applying for a 2017 NEH Summer Stipend to support work on a monograph on ancient Christian slavery and contemporary discourses about the human. Modern scholars of slavery have often stressed the humanity of slaves and the inhumanity of slavery, but typically without examining assumptions about what is understood by humanity. Situating Christian sources from the first to third centuries in the wider currents of Jewish, Greek, and Roman thought to which they contribute, my project revisits the nexus of slavery and humanity in antiquity. I argue that twenty-first century discourses on the human have the potential to reframe discussions of ancient slavery. At the same time, attention to the place of slavery in ancient discourses has the potential to illuminate vexed questions in contemporary discussions of humanities and even to expose some limitations of those discourses.

[Grant products]

Project fields:
Classics; Religion, Other

Summer Stipends

Research Programs

Total amounts:
$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2017 – 7/31/2017