How and Why Books Matter - Essays on the Social Function of Iconic Texts - James W Watts

How and Why Books Matter - Essays on the Social Function of Iconic Texts - James W Watts

Relic Texts

How and Why Books Matter - Essays on the Social Function of Iconic Texts - James W Watts

James W Watts [+-]
Syracuse University
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James W. Watts is Professor of Religion at Syracuse University. He is the author of Understanding the Pentateuch as a Scripture (Wiley Blackwell, 2017) and the editor of Iconic Books and Texts (Equinox, 2013) and Sensing Sacred Texts (Equinox, 2018).

Description

Relic texts tend to be ritualized only in the iconic dimension. They are rare, if not one-of-a-kind, and are in theory not reproducible. Their chief function is legitimation. Owning relic texts legitimizes individuals and communities and conveys a sense of empowerment. Owners use their relic texts to legitimize themselves, their institutions, their nations, and their religions. Losing them can threaten group identity. Individuals, private institutions, and governments sometimes go to great lengths to gain and to keep particular relic texts for themselves.

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Citation

Watts, James. Relic Texts. How and Why Books Matter - Essays on the Social Function of Iconic Texts. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. Feb 2019. ISBN 9781781797686. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=35884. Date accessed: 14 Dec 2018 doi: 10.1558/equinox.35884. Feb 2019

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