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Beyond the Doctrine of ManDecolonial Visions of the Human$
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Joseph Drexler-Dreis and Kristien Justaert

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780823286898

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823286898.001.0001

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Nat Turner’s Orientation beyond the Doctrine of Man

Nat Turner’s Orientation beyond the Doctrine of Man

(p.113) Chapter 5 Nat Turner’s Orientation beyond the Doctrine of Man
Beyond the Doctrine of Man
Joseph Drexler-Dreis
Fordham University Press

Nat Turner, as a leader of the 1831 Southampton slave rebellion, described a religious commitment that shaped his worldview and daily practices, and which ultimately manifested in his leading a slave rebellion. The task of interpreting the meaning of Nat Turner and the Southampton slave rebellion—highlighted by William Styron’s 1967 novel, The Confessions of Nat Turner, and the debate that ensued after its publication—discloses the persistence of Sylvia Wynter’s category of “Man” as a descriptive statement of the human within colonial modernity. This chapter opens up the need to re-visit Nat Turner, and to see how his life and worldview reveal possibilities beyond Man. It argues that religious practices and theological epistemologies can present an alternative to Man and that Nat Turner’s life and thought show one way such practices and epistemologies have been actualized beyond the doctrine of Man.

Keywords:   Charles Long, religious orientation, slave rebellion, William Styron, Nat Turner, Sylvia Wynter

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