Miniature Books - The Format and Function of Tiny Religious Texts - Kristina Myrvold

Miniature Books - The Format and Function of Tiny Religious Texts - Kristina Myrvold

On the Functions of Miniaturizing Books in Jewish Religion

Miniature Books - The Format and Function of Tiny Religious Texts - Kristina Myrvold

Marianne Schleicher [+-]
Aarhus University
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Marianne Schleicher is Associate Professor of Jewish Studies at the Study of Religion at Aarhus University, Denmark. Her research interests lie in the intersection of Judaism, scripture, gender, and the history of religion.

Description

The purpose of this chapter is to offer a functional approach to miniaturized books as a religious phenomenon. Moving beyond mere descriptions of size and aesthetic quality, it asks about the functions of miniaturized religious books and asks how size comes to matter. To be able to treat miniaturized books as a religious phenomenon, the chapter wants to transcend prevailing size criteria that privilege the codex form used for religious texts in relatively young religions such as Christianity and Islam, and thus prevent a global, comparative perspective. Empirically, the chapter searches for answers within the context of the history of the book and in particular within Jewish religion, not only because it happens to be the field of this author’s specialization, but also because Judaism, if we include Israelite religion, covers all phases of alphabetic literate culture relevant to the phenomenon of books, and because Jewish rituals and festivals are marked by readings and the possession of small books. The chapter conjoins the author’s own distinction between the hermeneutical and artifactual use of scripture with theoretical reflections by Claude Lévi-Strauss, Jonathan Z. Smith, Danièle Dehouve, Steven J. Gores, and Ian Reader. This platform has explanatory potential with regard to the analysis of miniaturized religious books in Jewish religion, but also to future analyses of miniaturized books in any religious context.

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Citation

Schleicher, Marianne. On the Functions of Miniaturizing Books in Jewish Religion. Miniature Books - The Format and Function of Tiny Religious Texts. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 22-44 Sep 2019. ISBN 9781781798614. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=37761. Date accessed: 18 Oct 2019 doi: 10.1558/equinox.37761. Sep 2019

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