The American Anti-Slavery Society and the Sacred Geography of Emancipation
This chapter traces how American abolitionists took up evangelical media strategies in the mid- and late 1830s, launching circulating antislavery libraries that adapted evangelical space to the geographies of slavery. It mentions that the American Anti-Slavery Society urged readers to extend their “ethical horizon” beyond the local. It also details how the Society used events in the Caribbean and elsewhere to refocus evangelical zeal from Asia to the U.S. South, which transformed the world missionary enterprise into a model for national reform in the process. The chapter shows how abolitionists adapted traditional sacred geographies to chart the global contours of modernity's cruelest and most insidious institution. It maps the cosmic contours of the abolitionist spatial imagination and intervenes in scholarly debates surrounding the history of abolitionism, religious reform movements, and American literary and cultural studies.
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