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Introduction To Part VI

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Chapter Summary

This is the introduction chapter of the part IV of the book, which examines the reception history of specific biblical texts, but in novel registers made possible by engagement with contemporary literary and cultural theory. Scripture qua scripture has, of course, incalculable effects on countless lives in both the private and public domains. Paul's letter to Philemon is the briefest and, arguably, most personal of his letters. The book deals with the reception of a less ambiguous Pauline text, one that explicitly enjoins its readers to subject themselves to political authorities since "the powers that be are ordained of God". It is interested in how this text has been read within Bible-affirming U.S. Christianity. The book tackles the reception history of a specific biblical text, the tale of Noah's drunkenness and curse of Canaan, commonly misnamed "the curse of Ham" and used historically to legitimate Christian enslavement of blacks and Arabs.

Keywords: Biblical texts; curse of Canaan; Noah's drunkenness; Paul's letter; Philemon; political authorities; U.S. Christianity



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