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The Forging of Races

The Forging of Races
Race and Scripture in the Protestant Atlantic World, 1600–2000


  • Date Published: September 2006
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521793247

£ 58.00

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About the Authors
  • This book revolutionises our understanding of race. Building upon the insight that races are products of culture rather than biology, Colin Kidd demonstrates that the Bible - the key text in Western culture - has left a vivid imprint on modern racial theories and prejudices. Fixing his attention on the changing relationship between race and theology in the Protestant Atlantic world between 1600 and 2000 Kidd shows that, while the Bible itself is colour-blind, its interpreters have imported racial significance into the scriptures. Kidd's study probes the theological anxieties which lurked behind the confident facade of of white racial supremacy in the age of empire and race slavery, as well as the ways in which racialist ideas left their mark upon new forms of religiosity. This is essential reading for anyone interested in the histories of race or religion.

    • An innovative and controversial survey of the relationship of race and theology over the past four centuries
    • Describes the religious underpinnings of modern racism
    • A major contribution to Atlantic history, intellectual history and religious studies
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'There is an uncomfortable history to be written of what might be called progressive or scientific racism as well as of religiously motivated varieties; Colin Kidd's recent monograph, The Forging of Races. Race and Scripture in the Protestant Atlantic World, 1600–2000, is a very distinguished beginning to this study.' Archbishop Rowan Williams

    'After a spirited opening chapter on the illusory nature of racial thinking, Kidd discusses the many (sometimes unintended) collisions between theology and race in the early modern period … he plunges into an admirable plain-speaking exploration of some burning questions … this is an intellectual history which rarely wanders …' London Review of Books

    'On the one side, there has been the massive if contested authority of the bible and, on the other, a remorseless racism. Colin Kidd has valuably decided to plot the relationship between these two foci of modern belief and thought.' The Historical Journal

    'This is a rich and fascinating analysis which will repay study by all those interested in the history of the intersection and mutual interpretation of 'white' and 'black' cultures.' The Round Table

    '… Kidd provides a wealth of stimulating comment on the relations between biblical study, slavery, ethnology, language study, religious affiliations and physiology. … Important for what it says on the significance of studying theology in context, this work deserves to attract a large readership well outside religious history.' Journal of Ecclesiastical History

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    Product details

    • Date Published: September 2006
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521793247
    • length: 318 pages
    • dimensions: 234 x 157 x 25 mm
    • weight: 0.63kg
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. Prologue: race in the eye of the beholder
    2. Introduction: race as scripture problem
    3. Race and religious orthodoxy in the early modern era
    4. Race, the Enlightenment and the authority of scripture
    5. Monogenesis, slavery and the nineteenth-century crisis of faith
    6. The Aryan moment: racializing religion in the nineteenth century
    7. Forms of racialized religion
    8. Black counter-theologies
    9. Conclusion.

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • Race as a Category of Historical Analysis
    • Secularization
    • Senior Seminar: The Invention of Race in America
  • Author

    Colin Kidd, University of Glasgow
    Colin Kidd is Professor of Modern History at the University of Glasgow and Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford. He has previously written Subverting Scotland's Past (1993) and British Identities before Nationalism (1999).

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