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The Black Jews of AfricaHistory, Religion, Identity$
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Edith Bruder

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195333565

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195333565.001.0001

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 Encountering and Reinventing the Africans and the Jews in the Colonial Era, Fifteenth to Nineteenth Centuries

 Encountering and Reinventing the Africans and the Jews in the Colonial Era, Fifteenth to Nineteenth Centuries

Chapter:
(p.51) 6 Encountering and Reinventing the Africans and the Jews in the Colonial Era, Fifteenth to Nineteenth Centuries
Source:
The Black Jews of Africa
Author(s):

Edith Bruder

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195333565.003.0009

This chapter focuses on the Hamitic hypothesis and its influence on both Europeans and Africans. This theory claims that anything of value found in Africa was brought there by the Hamites, who were allegedly a branch of the Caucasian race. It is shown that by the beginning of the 19th century, Hamitic hypothesis theories were widely accepted as authoritative among missionaries. Native religions were interpreted by Europeans according to similarities with ancient Hebrew rituals, and became the object of the most contradictory European fantasies. It is argued that the question of origin and precedence appears as the epicenter of the problematic of identity and religion of the Africans, as expressed by Europeans.

Keywords:   Hamitic hypothesis, Hamites, Europeans, Africa, Jews, religion

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