By David M. Goldenberg
How outdated is prejudice opposed to black humans? have been the racist attitudes that fueled the Atlantic slave exchange firmly in position seven-hundred years sooner than the eu discovery of sub-Saharan Africa? during this groundbreaking ebook, David Goldenberg seeks to find how dark-skinned peoples, specifically black Africans, have been portrayed within the Bible and by way of those that interpreted the Bible--Jews, Christians, and Muslims. unheard of in rigor and breadth, his research covers a 1,500-year interval, from historic Israel (around 800 B.C.E.) to the 8th century C.E., after the beginning of Islam. through tracing the improvement of anti-Black sentiment in this time, Goldenberg uncovers perspectives approximately race, colour, and slavery that took form over the centuries--most centrally, the idea that the biblical Ham and his descendants, the black Africans, have been cursed by way of God with everlasting slavery.
Goldenberg starts by way of studying a bunch of references to black Africans in biblical and postbiblical Jewish literature. From there he strikes the inquiry from Black as an ethnic staff to black as colour, and early Jewish attitudes towards darkish pores and skin colour. He is going directly to ask while the black African first turned pointed out as slave within the close to East, and, in a robust fruits, discusses the resounding effect of this identity on Jewish, Christian, and Islamic pondering, noting each one tradition's exegetical therapy of pertinent biblical passages.
Authoritative, fluidly written, and located at a richly illuminating nexus of pictures, attitudes, and background, The Curse of Ham is certain to have a profound and lasting influence at the perennial debate over the roots of racism and slavery, and at the examine of early Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
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Additional info for The Curse of Ham: Race and Slavery in Early Judaism, Christianity, and Islam (Jews, Christians, and Muslims from the Ancient to the Modern World)
E. , it's not unreasonable to imagine that an identical scenario bought within the Land of Israel. The Bible mentions Kushites within the provider of King David (2 Sam 18:21–32) and the Judahite kings Zedekiah (Jer 38:7–13, 39:15–18) and Yehoiakim (Jer 36:14). forty eight on the different finish of the interval we're investigating, there is symptoms of a Black-slave organization within the Targum to Qohelet, which most likely dates from the 7th century. forty nine To Qoh 2:7, “I got female and male slaves,” the Targum provides, “from the kids of Ham [mi-bneihon de-ham] and different international peoples. ” This addition to the biblical textual content may point out an organization among slaves and Blacks if we will be able to express that the time period bnei ham intended “black Africans. ” The earliest Jewish resource i will be able to ﬁnd to help this definition is Exodus Rabba: i'm going to strike your entire border with frogs (Ex 7:27 [8:2]). Our Rabbis acknowledged: The plagues which God prompted the Egyptians had the impression of bringing peace between them. How so? at the moment there has been a dispute among the Egyptians and the Hamites [bnei ham]. The Egyptians stated: Our border is at suchand-such a spot. And the Kushites acknowledged: Our border is at such-and-such a spot. while the plague of frogs got here they made peace among them: the realm into which the frogs entered—they knew that it was once Egyptian land, because it says “your border” and never the border of Ham. 50 even though the redaction of Exodus Rabba (from previous fabrics) is dated to the 10th century on the earliest, comparable Arabic utilization of the time period is going again past. Rotter says that in the ﬁrst 3 Islamic centuries banu ¯ h¯ am seems as a rule as a synonym for black African. fifty one The terminology can also be universal between medieval Jewish authors residing in, or inﬂuenced by means of, the Islamic international, comparable to Benjamin of Tudela and Maimonides (both 12th century). fifty two Reﬂecting the Indian-Ethiopian confusion, Ibn Ezra (also 12th century) makes use of the time period to consult the Hindus. fifty three in accordance with the Arabic utilization of banu ¯ h¯ am that means “black African” within the early centuries E V I D E N C E F O R B L A C okay S L AV E S I N I S R A E L 137 of Islam, maybe we will argue for a similar that means for the time period bnei ham in Targum Qohelet, whether the Hebrew parallel time period is ﬁrst recorded later. among the Bible and Targum Qohelet, even if, the single facts i do know of from Jewish assets that mentions Kushite slaves comprises the 3 parables of the shifhah kushit. sincerely, in those parables the kushit, set in literary competition to an upper-class girl, even if a townswoman (qartanit) or a matron (matronah), reﬂects a place of low prestige in society, yet was once this kushit a black African? for the reason that, as we've seen, within the rabbinic corpus the time period kushi(t) skill a dark-skinned individual, now not inevitably a black African, and because, additionally, slaves in different cultures have been visible as dark-skinned, no matter what their ethnic beginning, it really is difﬁcult to inform even if the kushit of the parables skill Black or black, that's, a black African or any dark-skinned individual.