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.)

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Bible Recycling

Susan Olasky in World Magazine asks:

What should you do with old or damaged Bibles you no longer need? Michigan-based Christian Resources International (CRI) suggests several ways to put them to use. Operation Bare Your Bookshelf allows you to send used Bibles in good condition to people who need them overseas.

CRI is responding to what seems to be a widely felt need, at least as evidenced by the remarkable number of websites providing advice on disposing of Bibles: Wikihow, Answerbag, Everything2, Yahoo, Allexperts, Ehow, and Catholic Forum. Since unlike Jewish, Muslim and Sikh traditions, Christian denominations for the most part have no prescribed teachings on Bible disposal, this wide-spread concern may be produced by the obvious, if usually implicit, analogy between Christianity's iconic book and other sacred objects and/or by the influence of prominent media stories about controversies over the treatment of scriptures of other religious traditions.


Matt said...

Orthodox Christians burn sacred books when they wear out or are damaged. We don't usually bind the complete text of the Bible in one volume,however.

Dori Miller Parmenter said...

Matt - I'm currently doing some research on Bible disposal and would like to know more about your comment on burning sacred books in the Orthodox tradition. Is there a particular liturgy or guidelines for this?

MRam said...

Orthodox Christians can also bury them in a place people don't normally walk.