In the words of Saint John's Abbey and University, the Saint John's Bible "illuminates the Word of God for a new millennium." This massive project combines a handwritten Bible with colorful art including traditional and modern elements in a conscious effort to revive the medieval manuscript tradition and make it appealing to people of the 21st century. The FAQ clarifies their mission and goals, and the iconic qualities are readily apparent in their image gallery.
There is also a traveling museum exhibit showing the Saint John's Bible and the work going into it; some portion of this exhibit will appear in connection with the San Diego Natural History Museum's Dead Sea Scrolls Exhibit, which quite conveniently takes place at the same time as the 2007 AAR/SBL Annual Meeting.
Iconic books are texts revered as objects of power rather than just as words of instruction, information, or insight. In religious and secular rituals around the globe, people carry, show, wave, touch and kiss books and other texts, as well as read them. This blog chronicles such events and activities. (For more about iconic books, see the links to the Iconic Books Project at left.)