The Curse of Ham: Race and Slavery in Early Judaism, Christianity, and Islam

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Princeton University Press, 7 août 2005 - 448 pages
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How old is prejudice against black people? Were the racist attitudes that fueled the Atlantic slave trade firmly in place 700 years before the European discovery of sub-Saharan Africa? In this groundbreaking book, David Goldenberg seeks to discover how dark-skinned peoples, especially black Africans, were portrayed in the Bible and by those who interpreted the Bible--Jews, Christians, and Muslims. Unprecedented in rigor and breadth, his investigation covers a 1,500-year period, from ancient Israel (around 800 B.C.E.) to the eighth century C.E., after the birth of Islam. By tracing the development of anti-Black sentiment during this time, Goldenberg uncovers views about race, color, and slavery that took shape over the centuries--most centrally, the belief that the biblical Ham and his descendants, the black Africans, had been cursed by God with eternal slavery.


Goldenberg begins by examining a host of references to black Africans in biblical and postbiblical Jewish literature. From there he moves the inquiry from Black as an ethnic group to black as color, and early Jewish attitudes toward dark skin color. He goes on to ask when the black African first became identified as slave in the Near East, and, in a powerful culmination, discusses the resounding influence of this identification on Jewish, Christian, and Islamic thinking, noting each tradition's exegetical treatment of pertinent biblical passages.


Authoritative, fluidly written, and situated at a richly illuminating nexus of images, attitudes, and history, The Curse of Ham is sure to have a profound and lasting impact on the perennial debate over the roots of racism and slavery, and on the study of early Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

 

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Table des matières

Introduction
1
PART ONE IMAGES OF BLACKS
17
THREE
41
PART TWO THE COLOR OF SKIN
79
The Color ofHealth
93
The Colored Meaning of Kushite in Postbiblical Literature
113
PART THREE HISTORY
131
Was Ham Black?
141
The Curse of Cain
178
Conclusion
195
APPENDIX I
201
APPENDIX II
211
GLOSSARY OF S OURCES AND TERMS
379
SUBJECT INDEX
395
INDEX OF ANCIENT SOURCES
413
INDEX OF MODERN SCHOLARS
431

Ham Sinned and Canaan was Cursed?
157
The Curse of Ham
168

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À propos de l'auteur (2005)

David M. Goldenbergis Isidore and Theresa Cohen Chair of Jewish Religion and Thought at the University of Cape Town, and Visiting Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania. He was formerly President of Dropsie College for Hebrew and Cognate Learning, Associate Director of the Annenberg Research Institute for Judaic and Near Eastern Studies, and Editor of The Jewish Quarterly Review.

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