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Title page for ETD etd-03242014-154651

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Lewis, Tamara Elisabeth
Author's Email Address telewis@smu.edu
URN etd-03242014-154651
Title "To Wash A Blackamoor White": The Rise of Black Ethnic Religious Rhetoric in Early Modern England
Degree PhD
Department Religion
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Paul Chang-Ha Lim Committee Chair
Catherine A. Molineux Committee Member
Dennis C. Dickerson Committee Member
Lewis V. Baldwin Committee Member
Peter Lake Committee Member
Victor Anderson Committee Member
  • hamitic myth
  • song of songs
  • race
Date of Defense 2014-02-12
Availability unrestricted
This dissertation argues that in late sixteenth- and seventeenth-century England there was a rise of black ethnic rhetoric in religious preaching and texts. Appropriated from the language and culture of the Renaissance, itself a rebirth of classical antiquity, early modern black ethnic religious tropology was used symbolically to reflect the universal condition of human sin, the Protestant drama of salvation, and the possibilities of sanctification. Black imagery was not only coterminous with established negative perceptions of Africans during the early modern period, but also engendered a contemporary theological and intellectual climate amenable to burgeoning hostility, despite evidence of English ministerial service to Africans.
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