The second book in the Signifying on Scriptures series from Rutgers Press has appeared: The Social Life of Scriptures, edited by James S. Bielo. The blurb reads:
What do Christians do with the Bible? How do they—individually and collectively—
interact with the sacred texts? Why does this engagement shift so drastically among and between social, historical, religious, and institutional contexts? Such questions are addressed in a most enlightening, engaging, and original way in The Social Life of Scriptures.
Contributors offer a collection of closely analyzed and carefully conducted ethnographic and historical case studies, covering a range of geographic, theological, and cultural territory, including: American evangelicals and charismatics; Jamaican Rastafarians; evangelical and Catholic Mayans; Northern Irish charismatics; Nigerian Anglicans; and Chinese evangelicals in the United States.
The Social Life of Scriptures is the first book to present an eclectic, cross-cultural, and comparative investigation of Bible use. Moreover, it models an important movement to outline a framework for how scriptures are implicated in organizing social structures and meanings, with specific foci on gender, ethnicity, agency, and power.