Among elite U.S. universities, Harvard, Yale, Brown, and Georgetown have all admitted in recent years that at one time they benefited financially from the slave trade. But two Protestant seminaries have now gone a step further, saying that in recognition of their own connections to racism they have a Christian duty to pay reparations.
Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, Va., the flagship institution of the U.S. Episcopal Church, announced in September that it has set aside $1.7 million for a reparations fund, given that enslaved persons once worked on its campus and that the school participated in racial segregation even after slavery ended.
Earlier this month, Princeton Theological Seminary in Princeton, N.J., followed suit with an announcement of a $27 million endowed fund for reparations, from which $1.1 million would be dispersed annually.
“As a theology school, we use the language of confession to acknowledge our complicity with slavery,” says M. Craig Barnes, the Princeton seminary president. In its announcement, the seminary said a historical audit, while showing that the school never itself owned slaves, nonetheless made clear that it “benefited from the slave economy, both through investments in Southern banks … and from donors who profited from slavery.”
Two Protestant seminaries — Virginia Theological Seminary and Princeton Theological Seminary — say that in recognition of their own historical connections to slavery and systemic racism, they have a Christian duty to pay reparations.https://t.co/DXx2f0PBzy
— NPR (@NPR) October 29, 2019