I was asked to write a short response to Moerman's essay. It concludes:
... Book and text rituals, which include their public performance and interpretation as well as their physical display and manipulation, serve to focus the attention of communities on enduring values. They cherish texts that contain those values as material representations of them, as relics of their faith. Anxiety about the future fuels efforts to reproduce and preserve those texts, so that they become material guarantors of cultural and religious persistence and, in Moerman's words, “a rhetorical center around which other personal, familial, and political anxieties converge” (p. 86).
Find the rest of it, as well as two other responses, here.