The Curse of Cain

Discusses the book on the definition of monotheism written by Regina M. Schwartz.

In “The Curse of Cain”, Regina Schwartz specifically focuses on the nature of Biblical monotheism as it has been expressed in the Jewish tradition. This paper shows that, drawing the foundation of her theory from the allegory of Cain and Abel, the author describes how Jewish monotheism has contributed to a violent, antagonistic worldview. This paper analyzes and discusses “The Curse of Cain” and presents Schwartz’s view on monotheism and its consequences on society.
Patriarchy exacerbates and perpetuates the myths of exclusionism and mandatory violence. Schwartz shows how, if power is conferred from father to son in kinship groups, how divine love is also inherited and expressed only through those favored kinship groups. Not only were Cain and Esau excluded from the limited bounty of God’s love: their sons were also thus excluded. Whole races of people become seen as Others, enemies of the one God. It therefore becomes impossible to promote inclusiveness and honor diversity. If God has deemed one race or lineage as superior to another, then humans must also practice exclusionism in their earthly affairs. Violence toward other groups of people is essentially mandated by God.