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- DescriptionBlack Prometheus addresses the specific conditions under and the pointed implications with which an ancient story about different orders of gods dueling over the fate of humanity became such a prominent fixture of Atlantic modernity. The Prometheus myth, for several reasons-its fortuitous geographical associations with both Africa and the Caucasus; its resonant icography of bodily suffering; and its longue duree function as a limit case for a Platonic-cum-Christian political theology of the Absolute, became a crucial site for conceptualizing human liberation in the immanent space of a finite globe structured by white domination and black slavery. The titan's defiant theft of fire from the regnant gods was translated through a high-stakes racial coding either as an African revolt against the cosmic status quo that augured a pure automy, a black revolutionary immanence against which idealist philosophers like Hegel defined their projects and slaveholders defended their lives and positions. Or as a Caucasian reflection of the divine power evidently working in favor of Euro-Christian civilization that transmuted the naked egoism of conquest into a righteous heteromy-Euro-Christian civilization's mobilization by the Absolute or its internalization of a transcendent principle of universal Reason. The Prometheus myth was available and attractive to its eighteenth- and nineteenth-century revivalists and reinventors-from canical figures like Voltaire, Percy Shelley, Frederick Douglass, and Karl Marx to anymous contributors of ephemera to abolitionist periodicals-t so much as a handy emblem of an abstract humanism but as the potential linchpin of a racialist philosophy of history.
- Author BiographyJared Hickman is Assistant Professor of English at Johns Hopkins University.
- Author(s)Jared Hickman
- PublisherOxford University Press Inc
- Date of Publication24/11/2016
- SubjectNon-Christian Religions
- Place of PublicationNew York
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintOxford University Press Inc
- Weight862 g
- Width156 mm
- Height235 mm
- Spine43 mm
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