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.)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

10 minutes with Timothy K Beal

Here's a quick little interview with Tim Beal, whose book Biblical Literacy: The Essential Bible Stories Everyone Needs to Know was just published with HarperOne. While the book deals a lot with the semantic dimensions of scripture, it also explores the iconic elements as well.

Telling in this short interview is a curious observation Beal makes: "A lot of people have picked up a sort of 'keep away' and 'no trespassing' message when they see a Bible with a black leather cover." Here, the image of the Bible becomes somewhat anti-iconic, something that pushes back rather than invites one in.

This seems to be an important dimension in examinations of iconic books: images that repulse.

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