"Jews, Heathens, and Other Dissenters":Governing Religion in the English Atlantic World, 1614–1790
This article argues that discussions about how Judaism "became a religion" should include consideration of early modern English thought and colonial governance. In the seventeenth century, Jews gradually came to be understood in relationship to new concepts of "religion" and "religions," even as they were beginning to inhabit English territories for the first time since their 1290 expulsion. In particular, Jews were related to a racialized spectrum that ranged from white Protestant dissent to Native and African heathenism. When Jews were granted rights, it was because they were understood not only as white settlers but as a religious group and even explicitly classified as Protestants. Centering the English imperial context and the plantation colonies of Barbados, Carolina, and Georgia, this article offers a critical prehistory of Jewish religious freedom in the United States, showing it to be far less sudden, complete, and benign than is often assumed.
Rabin Shari. 2022. "'Jews, Heathens, and Other Dissenters':Governing Religion in the English Atlantic World, 1614–1790." Jewish Social Studies 27(3): 32-57.
Indiana University Press
Jewish Social Studies
Atlantic, Colonialism, England, Jewish, Religion, Whiteness