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

Rival Iconic Texts: Ten Commandments Monuments and the U.S. Constitution

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

The legal and political controversy over Ten Commandments monuments in the United States revolves around iconic texts holding a discrete symbolic value compared to texts whose function is primarily to be read. A comparative perspective on iconic texts reveals that the nation’s founding documents, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights, have also been increasingly turned into monumental icons over the last half-century. The Ten Commandments controversy can therefore be understood as the competition between iconic texts for symbolic supremacy. At stake in this struggle is how the nation will represent the government’s relationship to the many religions represented within its population.

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Citation

Watts, James. Rival Iconic Texts: Ten Commandments Monuments and the U.S. Constitution. 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=35888. Date accessed: 14 Dec 2018 doi: 10.1558/equinox.35888. Feb 2019

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