Sensing Sacred Texts - James W Watts

Sensing Sacred Texts - James W Watts

Scripture’s Indexical Touch

Sensing Sacred Texts - James W Watts

James W Watts [+-]
Syracuse University
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James W. Watts is Professor of Religion at Syracuse University. His publications include How and Why Books Matter: Essays on the Social Function of Iconic Texts (Equinox, 2019) and Understanding the Bible as a Scripture in History Culture and Religion (Wiley, 2021).


The collection concludes by drawing on C. S. Pierce’s theory of signs and Roy Rappaport’s theory of ritual to argue that touching sacred texts and the sight to people touching them indexes their religious identity. Through ritual touching, these books become material manifestations of deity and transcendence which, in many traditions, become the most important religious artefacts.

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Watts, James. Scripture’s Indexical Touch. Sensing Sacred Texts. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 173-184 Oct 2018. ISBN 9781781795767. Date accessed: 11 Aug 2022 doi: 10.1558/equinox.32107. Oct 2018

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