Date of Award

Spring 1991

Document Type

Restricted Thesis

Terms of Use

© 1991 Kristi Cunningham. All rights reserved. Access to this work is restricted to users within the Swarthmore College network and may only be used for non-commercial, educational, and research purposes. Sharing with users outside of the Swarthmore College network is expressly prohibited. For all other uses, including reproduction and distribution, please contact the copyright holder.

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Black Studies, Sociology & Anthropology

First Advisor

Steven Piker


Was the role of religion specific to the times of slavery? Once slavery had ended, would there no longer be a need for religion? Throughout history, religion has played an important, albeit changing role in the Black community. The author examines Africa to Christianity, Philadelphia 1780-1820, and The Mother Bethel Church today by exploring the development of Christianity among the slaves, as well as the role that African tradition, and then Christianity, played in the lives of slaves. Methodology includes book research, observation during Mother Bethel Church services, and interviews with religious leaders.