The Forging of Races

Race and Scripture in the Protestant Atlantic World, 1600–2000

The Forging of Races

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.


"...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

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