Noah's Curse: The Biblical Justification of American Slavery

Noah's Curse: The Biblical Justification of American Slavery

by Stephen R. Haynes
     
 

"A servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren." So reads Noah's curse on his son Ham, and all his descendants, in Genesis 9:25. Over centuries of interpretation, Ham came to be identified as the ancestor of black Africans, and Noah's curse to be seen as biblical justification for American slavery and segregation. Examining the history of the

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Overview

"A servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren." So reads Noah's curse on his son Ham, and all his descendants, in Genesis 9:25. Over centuries of interpretation, Ham came to be identified as the ancestor of black Africans, and Noah's curse to be seen as biblical justification for American slavery and segregation. Examining the history of the American interpretation of Noah's curse, this book begins with an overview of the prior history of the reception of this scripture and then turns to the distinctive and creative ways in which the curse was appropriated by American pro-slavery and pro-segregation interpreters.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195313079
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
02/03/2007
Series:
Religion in America Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
336
Product dimensions:
9.20(w) x 6.10(h) x 0.90(d)

Table of Contents

1Setting the Stage3
Pt. ICharacters in the Postdiluvian Drama
2A Black Sheep in the (Second) First Family: The Legend of Noah and His Sons23
3Unauthorized Biography: The Legend of Nimrod and His Tower41
Pt. IIHonor and Order
4Original Dishonor: Noah's Curse and the Southern Defense of Slavery65
5Original Disorder: Noah's Curse and the Southern Defense of Slavery87
6Grandson of Disorder: Nimrod Comes to America105
Pt. IIINoah's Camera
7Noah's Sons in New Orleans: Genesis 9-11 and Benjamin Morgan Palmer125
8Honor, Order, and Mastery in Palmer's Biblical Imagination146
9Beyond Slavery, Beyond Race: Noah's Camera in the Twentieth Century161
Pt. IVRedeeming the Curse
10Challenging the Curse: Readings and Counterreadings177
11Redeeming the Curse: Ham as Victim201
12Conclusion: Racism, Religion, and Responsible Scholarship220
Notes223
Bibliography299
Index314

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