Katharine Gerbner

Accepting PhD Students

20102018
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Personal profile

Research interests

My research explores the religious dimensions of race, authority, and freedom in the early modern Atlantic world. My book, "Christian Slavery: Conversion and Race in the Protestant Atlantic World" (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2018), shows how debates between slave-owners, black Christians, and missionaries transformed the practice of Protestantism and the language of race in the early modern Atlantic World. I am currently at work on a few different projects. One, entitled “Constructing Religion, Defining Crime,” examines how some non-European religions – particularly those that were practiced under slavery – have been excluded from the category of religion and criminalized over the past three centuries. A related project investigates the religious and medical practices of enslaved Africans in the Caribbean, paying particular attention to obeah. I am interested in how Afro-Caribbean ideas about healing, prayer, and worship influenced the construction of European categories such as religion and medicine. I have also been working on an article about Missionaries and Maroons, which takes a micro-historical look at how and why maroon leaders sought to create alliances with Christian missionaries.

Research interests

  • Religion
  • Early America
  • Atlantic World
  • Race
  • Slavery
  • Caribbean
  • Missions
  • Empire

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missionary Social Sciences
Barbados Social Sciences
Jamaica Social Sciences
slave Social Sciences
seventeenth century Social Sciences
Religion Social Sciences
Atlantic World Arts & Humanities
Missionaries Arts & Humanities

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Research Output 2010 2018

Slavery
Atlantic World
Enslavement
Slaves
Religion

Introduction: Missionary Encounters in the Atlantic World

Gerbner, K. & Vélez, K., Jan 1 2017, In : Journal of Early Modern History. 21, 1-2, p. 1-7 7 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Atlantic World
Missionaries
History
Environmental History
Denomination
Open Access
Colonization
Atlantic World
Consciousness
Christianity
Historian
1 Citation (Scopus)

"They call me Obea": German Moravian missionaries and Afro-Caribbean religion in Jamaica, 1754-1760

Gerbner, K., Apr 3 2015, In : Atlantic Studies : Global Currents. 12, 2, p. 160-178 19 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Jamaica
missionary
Religion
superstition
revolt
2 Citations (Scopus)
Covenant
Baptism
Outreach