The Curse of Ham: Race and Slavery in Early Judaism, Christianity, and Islam (Hardback)
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Short Description for The Curse of Ham David Goldenberg seeks to discover how dark-skinned peoples, especially black Africans, were portrayed in the Bible and by those who interpreted the Bible - by Jews, Christians and Muslims. His investigations cover a 1500-year period, from ancient Israel to after the birth of Islam.
- Published: 28 November 2003
- Format: Hardback 480 pages
- ISBN 13: 9780691114651 ISBN 10: 069111465X
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Full description for The Curse of Ham
How old is prejudice against black people? Were the racist attitudes that fuelled the Atlantic slave trade firmly in place 700 years before the European discovery of sub-Saharan Africa? In this 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 - by Jews, Christians and Muslims. His investigations cover a 1500-year period, from ancient Israel (around 800 BCE) to the 8th century CE, after the birth of Islam. By tracing the development of anti-Black sentiment during this time, Goldenberg uncovers views about race, colour 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 post-biblical Jewish literature. From there he moves the inquiry from Black as an ethnic group to black as colour, and early Jewish attitudes towards dark skin colour. 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.