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The Forging of Races: Race and Scripture in the Protestant Atlantic World, 1600-2000 Paperback – September 25, 2006

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The Forging of Races: Race and Scripture in the Protestant Atlantic World, 1600-2000 + The Origins of Racism in the West + Racism: A Short History
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 318 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 1 edition (September 25, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521797292
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521797290
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,840,066 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"...the book is an absorbing excursion."
-Ruth Alden Doan, H-Atlantic

"Colin Kidd's well-researched, wide-ranging, and insightful book...demolishes such assumptions when it comes to the issue of race"
-Timothy Larsen, Christianity Today

"The Forging of Races is a carefully crafted contribution...Historians would find The Forging of Races indispensable reading, particularly if their scope includes the interpretation of racial politics, colonial justification, and Protestant progress into modernity."
-Kathryn Lofton, Journal of Interdisciplinary History

"Historians of race, religion, scriptures, and modernity most certainly cannot afford to miss what Kidd has to say; his meticulous research and generous notes will aid serious researchers for years to come. Furthermore, his clear and cogent explanation of race as a social system and his mapping of international relations of scripture and race will prove immensely valuable for teaching both graduate and undergraduate courses."
-Sylvester A. Johnson, H-Amstdy

"This is an erudite and scholarly work, rooted in an extensive knowledge of the writings of preachers, academics, and intellectuals."
-Catherine Hall, University College London, American Historical Review

"The value of this impressive study is its patient and detailed deconstruction of the ways of religion and race, two pillars of Protestant Western culture, have propped each other up for four centuries."
-Jon Sensbach, University of Florida, The Journal of American History

"Colin Kidd's work offers an intriguing intellectual history of the ambiguous connection between Protestant theology and concepts of race since the early modern era..."
--Fredrik Albritton Jonsson, University of Chicago, Journal of Modern History

"In this thoughtful inquiry, the author succeeds in his objective of tracing how intellectuals in the Wetsern world utilized the Holy Bible in various, often opposing, ways to support changing constructions of the concept of race throughout the centuries in question....clearly conceived and organized....The design of the chapters effectively combines thematic and chronological progression....A major strength of the book is the skill with which the author succinctly interweaves an encyclopedic array of historiography and other literature into their surrounding historical contexts..."
--Allison Blakely, Boston University, The Historian

"...a must read for those who study social, cultural, political or religious history." -Phillip Luke Sinitiere, World History Bulletin

Book Description

This book explores the way in which religious ideas have shaped British and American thinking about race between 1600 and 2000. It shows that the Bible has been just as influential as science over the last few centuries in forging racial attitudes and identities.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Bryan M. Stephany on July 21, 2011
Format: Paperback
In The Forging of Races Colin Kidd examines the relationship between Biblical Christianity and the construction of race in the 17th to 21st century. While Kidd went into the project with a presupposition about the nature of the relationship of Christianity and racism (he hypothesized "that the dethroning of biblical authority was a necessary prelude to the emergence of modern racism" ), in the end he found that the relationship between the two is much more complicated.

Kidd highlights a significant tension between science (consisting of biology, sociology, and anthropology) and theology from which understandings and meanings of race were negotiated in the 17th to 21st century time period. Given the Christianized milieu of the time period, the emerging scientific understandings of race were often held in check by the dominant theological discourse. This meant that racial oppression and liberation were often promulgated on theological terms rather than on scientific ones. With this in mind, Kidd also notes that competing discourses existed within both the scientific and theological camps just as much as between them.

One of the more prominent themes that Kidd discusses is the multitude of interpretations of key Biblical texts, primarily the book of Genesis. Of the several themes covered in this area, the two most prominent in Kidd's analysis is the monogenesis/polygenesis debate and the meaning behind the story of Ham and the curse placed on his son Canaan. Out of all the stories and issues covered in Kidd's text, these two seem to carry the most weight when it comes to understanding how and why racism became so prominent in the 17th to 21st century time period.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By nbrhdBOOGIEman on November 22, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Kidd's work, as the title implies, is an attempt to understand the construction of race in the Protestant Atlantic World. The book is pretty good as an intellectual history of the construction of race in England and Scotland, but Kidd attempts to apply his arguments to the entire Atlantic world. This dangerous because he doesn't explore power and politics as they were on the ground in the Americas. No archives or sources outside of the British Isles have been consulted. As a Scottish intellectual historian, it is clear that Kidd does not have an adequate grasp on race or racial power dynamics and politics in the Americas. Furthermore the time period of 1600-2000 is way too large for a 300 page study. Kidd is just trying to do way too much here.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By DiaThom on December 7, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
the condition delievered in, was not very good. There were black markings across the top of the book. i bought this as new, it was not new
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