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The Bible and Race in America

This course aims to provide students with a rigorous assessment of the uses of the Bible and other scriptures to construe meanings about race in America; this history has most frequently involved reading modern race identities into biblical narratives and interpreting American experience as the fulfillment of biblical promise. This course will prepare students to understand American theologies of chosenness and divine destiny, racial appropriations of biblical narrative, and the cultural history of attempts to locate racial origins using biblical traditions. Students will examine the myriad ways racing the Bible and biblicizing race have been integral to histories of power in America.


This syllabus was created for the Young Scholars in American Religion program.

Sylvester Johnson

Indiana University

Public College or University
Institution Type

Resource Type

Graduate Course
Class Type

Date Published

Religious Studies, American Studies

Catholic, Indigenous, Judaism, Other Christianities, Protestant
Religous Tradition

Class/Power, Race/Ethnicity, Theology/Liturgy

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