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.)

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Bookbinding as a Metaphor for Learning


Andrew Wilson advocates the art of bookbinding to teaching religious studies:

Sacred texts are continually being created and recreated, unbound and repackaged, unfurled and gathered up. Bookbinding manifests an applied, even somatic, example of these textual journeys. In a world of e-books and hypertext, one might consider bookbinding a quaint if not archaic practice, but that would overlook it as a very practical way of participating in the text. It involves doing something that actively shapes and changes the text. As the binder works the pages with their hands, the text literally takes on characteristics of changeability, pliability, and plasticity. (Andrew P. Wilson, "Teaching Religion by the Book: Bookbinding as a Metaphor for Learning," on the Blog of the Wabash Center, February 2, 2022)

He goes on to describe how engaging a student in creating books provides the means "to bind her learning journey, her experience, and her identity into a space that was richly layered and uniquely hers."

Dorina Miller Parmenter has long advocated book making and book binding in religious studies pedagogy: see the interview with her, The Religious Book as Object, on this blog.

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