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IOSOT 2022

Imperial Desires: Constructions and Maintenance of Race in Biblical Interpretation

Steed Vernyl Davidson (Chicago)


In the Hebrew Bible, though empires bring disasters they take on a theological utility that make them desirable. Depicted at times through erotic desire, empire functions as a significant solution to the human condition. This paper examines the eroticized construction of empire in the Hebrew Bible and how it promotes the desirability of empire through notions of cultural superiority. These features of empire arguably shape the Bible’s role in the production and maintenance of race.