Setting the Stage

Stephen R. Haynes

in Noah's Curse

Published in print April 2002 | ISBN: 9780195142792
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199834280 | DOI:

Series: Religion in America

 Setting the Stage

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This chapter connects the history of interpretation of Genesis 9–11 with contemporary American culture. It also describes the thematic structure of Genesis 9–11 in terms of dispersion and differentiation, reviews the history of “Noah's curse” as an explanation of blackness and a justification for racial slavery, introduces the concepts of honor and order that will figure prominently in subsequent chapters, reviews the arguments of Eugene Genovese against the centrality of Noah's curse in the American proslavery argument, and explores “other chapters in the Genesis of race,” including pre‐Adamism, racialist readings of the Flood story, and pro‐apartheid interpretation of Genesis 11 in South Africa.

Keywords: differentiation; dispersion; flood; Genesis; Genovese; honor; Noah; pre‐Adamism; slavery

Chapter.  8075 words. 

Subjects: Biblical Studies

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