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Published on August 28th, 2014 | by ABCUSA

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Mitchell Draws Lessons from Slavery and the Holocaust

VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 8/28/14)—“Dignity and Defacement: Lessons from Slavery and the Holocaust” is the theme of Dr. Beverly Mitchell’s talk on Friday, September 19th at 7 p.m. at the American Baptist Historical Society (ABHS) headquarters at 2930 Flowers Road South, on the Atlanta campus of Mercer University.   Focusing on the topic of human dignity and defacement, she will address some of the important theological and political implications of slavery and the Holocaust. 

Mitchell explains that she looks at these two historical events to “encourage us to reflect on what it means to be human and to ponder the question as to whether as victims or perpetrators we can ever lose our dignity as human beings created in the image of God.”  She argues that “reflection upon these events can help us to see more clearly our interconnectedness to each other despite all the lines of division that we erect between us.  It is through our capacity to recognize and honor our common humanity that we can embrace the commitment to safeguard the human dignity of others.”

Dr. Beverly E. Mitchell is professor of Historical Theology at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, DC, where she teaches church history and theology.  Her publications include Black Abolitionism, A Quest for Human Dignity and Plantations and Death Camps; Religion, Ideology, and Human Dignity. Her special interests include African American history, feminist theologies, poverty and human rights.

Currently Dr. Mitchell is serving on the Advisory Committee for Holocaust Studies for Programs on Ethics, Religion and the Holocaust for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC.  She also is vice president of the Board of Managers for the American Baptist Historical Society.

Free and open to the public, this lecture is part of an annual series sponsored by the American Baptist Historical Society at its headquarters at 2930 Flowers Rd. South, on the Atlanta campus of Mercer University. Following the lecture, there will be a reception and book-signing with Dr. Mitchell.  For directions or more information, call 678 547 6680 or email abhsoffice@abhsarchives.org.

Founded in 1853, the American Baptist Historical Society preserves and shares its collections documenting the influence Baptists have had on religious and civic life. Its six miles of shelving hold the archives of the national mission societies of the American Baptist Churches in the U.S.A., of which it is a part, the personal papers of prominent Baptist leaders, original church records, periodicals representing the world-wide Baptist press, national, state and associational published minutes from the vast array of Baptist denominations in the U.S., and books and pamphlets that are by, about, for and against Baptists. Researchers come from all over the world to from a multitude of disciplines, including American history, political science, anthropology and sociology. For more information about ABHS, including how to make a research appointment or to volunteer, visit our website at http://www.abhsarchives.org/.

 American Baptist Churches is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with over 5,200 local congregations comprised of 1.3 million members, across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission around the world.


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