Rawlings School of Divinity


Master of Arts in Christian Apologetics (MA)


Dennis McDonald


Slavery, Race, Black, Ham, Cushites, Unity


Christianity | Religion


The so-called curse of Ham became a major issue for Christian Theology and apologetics. The false interpretation claimed that the Black race were to be enslaved. Therefore, these individuals were subjected to inhuman treatment through the institution of slavery for generations. Many believed that those from Africa did not receive Christianity until after they were kidnapped from their homeland. The false narrative that slavery introduced them to Christ is disingenuous. That is because Christianity prevailed in Africa even before it did in Europe. Individuals from African contributed immensely to the history and theology of Christianity. Three of the major Christian fathers, Tertullian, Athanasius and Augustine of Hippo were all from Africa. Likewise, the Bible contains a myriad of accounts featuring those of African descent who were devoted to God. Unfortunately, the misinterpretation of the so-called curse of Ham perpetuated the justification of the forced servitude of those from Africa. This had a lasting impact on the Black race. One result was blacks leaving Christianity. Many were looking to movements like the Nation of Islam and the Hebrew Israelites to affirm their blackness and human dignity. Others severing ties with denominations and starting their own church, like the African Methodist Episcopal Church. All in all, the Bible, Theology, and Christian history, all illustrate the achievements and contributions of those from the Hamitic line. To continue to propagate the so-called curse of Ham is show contempt for the scriptures and Christian history. By and large, this thesis will show how this false narrative ebbs away at God’s ultimate plan for unity.

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