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.)

Monday, October 30, 2017

Understanding the Pentateuch as A Scripture

Understanding the Pentateuch as a Scripture (Wiley Blackwell, 2017) applies my research on iconic books and comparative scriptures to the study of the Pentateuch/Torah, the first five books of Jewish and Christian scriptures.


1. RITUALIZED TEXT: The Pentateuch as a Scripture

2. TEXTUAL RHETORIC: The Persuasive Shaping of the Pentateuch

3. SCROLL, TABLET, AND CODEX: Ritualizing the Pentateuch’s Iconic Dimension

4. READING, PERFORMANCE, AND ART: Ritualizing the Pentateuch’s Performative Dimension

5. TEXTUAL INTERPRETATION: Ritualizing the Pentateuch’s Semantic Dimension

6. SCRIPTURES: From Torah to Bible

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Postscripts issue on Sensing Sacred Texts

Postscripts: the Journal of Sacred Texts and Contemporary Worlds has published a special issue on Sensing Sacred Texts. The contents are:

"What the Book Arts Can Teach Us About Sacred Texts: The Aesthetic Dimension of Scripture"
        by S. Brent Plate

"How the Bible Feels: The Christian Bible as Effective and Affective Object"
        by Dorina Miller Parmenter

"Engaging All the Senses: On Multi-sensory Stimulation in the Process of Making and Inaugurating a Torah Scroll"
by Marianne Schleicher

"On Instant Scripture and Proximal Texts: Some Insights into the Sensual Materiality of Texts and their Ritual Roles in the Hebrew Bible and Beyond"
by Christian Frevel

"Touching Books, Touching Art: Tactile Dimensions of Sacred Books in the Medieval West"
by David Ganz

"Infusions and Fumigations: Literacy Ideologies and Therapeutic Aspects of the Qurʾan"
        by Katharina Wilkens

"Seeing, Touching, Holding, and Swallowing Tibetan Buddhist Texts"
by Cathy Cantwell

"Neo-Confucian Sensory Readings of Scriptures: The Reading Methods of Chu Hsi and Yi Hwang"
        by Yohan Yoo

"Scriptures' Indexical Touch"
by James W. Watts