This essay is quite simply an exercise in puncturing the fantasy of the Christian West. We begin by considering a foundational text in that fantasy, Genesis 9:18-29, the story of Noah's drunkenness and subsequent curse of Canaan, usually misnamed the curse of Ham. From there we move on to three moments of that fantasy in order to show that the very possibility of a Christian West relies as much on Islam as it does on Judaism. But let us lay out our basic argument before exploring its various dimensions: in the same way that the story of Noah's nakedness over-reaches itself to distinguish Israel from Canaan, thereby showing the very Canaanite-ness of Israel, so also the frantic effort of the Christian West to distinguish itself from the 'East,' in this case the Muslim East, shows through the effort itself that the Christian West relies for its very possibility on Islam. However, it is the subcultures of the West, often hidden from view, that show up the truth of the Christian West.
Sacred Tropes: Tanakh, New Testament, and Qur'an as Literature and Culture p. 461-473