A Christian Scholar Reviews Slavery, Abolitionism, and the Ethics of Biblical Scholarship

Dr. Herbert Marbury
Dr. Hebert Marbury, Associate Professor of Hebrew Bible at Vanderbilt University, has written a review of my book on Slavery, Abolitionism, and the Ethics of Biblical Scholarship (2011), which argues that biblical ethics were not responsible for the abolition of slavery in western civilization. On the contrary, reliance on the Bible spread and maintained slavery for about 1800 years in Christianity.
Dr. Marburys review shows that Christian biblical scholars can appreciate the work of atheist biblical scholars who are critical of biblical ethics.  I provide an extract of the review below for those who do not have access to the website of the Review of Biblical Literature:

“In Slavery, Abolitionism, and the Ethics of Biblical Scholarship, Avalos takes up an ambitious project and impressively carries it through to completion. Avalos plays the provocateur throughout; his subject matter and his deconstructive program lend itself to such a role. From the outset, Avalos signals to his readers that he intends to 'deconstruct the myth that reliance on the Bible was primarily responsible for the abolition of slavery in Western Civilization'...
Avalos overstates his argument at points, but there is much value in the book. No doubt his approach, provocative tone, and deconstructive program will spawn ample criticism and, one hopes, robust debate. Nonetheless, his reasoning is clear and his argumentation forceful.
Implicitly, the book raises important methodological questions about the value and place of historical-critical methods alongside other viable interpretive methods such as postmodern and discursively constructed critical approaches.
Explicitly, his thoroughgoing critique of biblical ethics, its excesses, and its equivocations will have to be addressed by scholars who base their systems of moral reasoning on the Bible. In short, Avalos has produced a fine work and made an important contribution. It belongs on the shelves of scholars and students who think critically about the future of biblical ethics.”