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The Bible in American Life$
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Philip Goff, Arthur Farnsley, and Peter Thuesen

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190468910

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190468910.001.0001

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Scripturalizing Religion and Ethnicity

Scripturalizing Religion and Ethnicity

The Circle Seven Koran

(p.101) 8 Scripturalizing Religion and Ethnicity
The Bible in American Life

Sylvester A. Johnson

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the Circle Seven Koran, which the Moorish Science Temple of America understands as sacred scripture, and its role in shaping a Black ethnic identity for Moorish Americans. The chapter begins by examining the book’s composition and relationship to other religious writings. It then turns attention to the social context in which how “Noble” Drew Ali, the Temple’s founder, produced the book. Of special importance is the content that originated with Ali, as this section of the book reveals the principle of ethnogenesis undergirding Ali’s efforts to refashion racial Blackness as a heritage identity. To demonstrate this, the chapter discusses the biblical genealogy of the Circle Seven Koran, the relationship between peoplehood and scripture, the role of social conflict in generating scriptural practices, the emergent status of scripture, and the importance of the moral as a strategic force.

Keywords:   Moorish Science Temple of America, ethnogenesis, scripture, Moorish Americans, Circle Seven Koran

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