An Embodied Reading of the Shepherd of Hermas - The Book of Visions and its Role in Moral Formation - Angela Kim Harkins
Angela Kim Harkins [+]
Harkins has authored or edited eight books and more than 40 journal articles and essays on prayers, emotions, and religious experience in ancient Jewish and Christian texts.
She is the author of Reading with an "I" to the Heavens: Looking at the Qumran Hodayot through the Lens of Visionary Traditions (De Gruyter, 2012), and Experiencing Presence in the Second Temple Period (Peeters, 2022). She is the co-editor of several volumes, the most recent of which are Experiencing the Shepherd of Hermas, with Harry O. Maier (De Gruyter, 2022) and Selected Studies on Deuterocanonical Prayers, with Barbara Schmitz (Peeters, 2021). Angela Kim Harkins and Jonathan Klawans are the co-editors of the Journal of Ancient Judaism (Brill).
The book concludes by returning to the opening discussion of the bookroll as a format that limits and constrains the reader’s experience of the narrative. The Visions also cultivate emotional predispositions for introspection and self-examination as Hermas’s interior consciousness becomes disclosed more and more to the reader. Watchfulness increases as the reader moves with Hermas along his foot-journey through the narrative world of the Book of Visions. These effects of enactive reading contribute to the moral formation of the reader by drawing the reader immersively into Hermas’s narrative world and cultivating the emotional states that generate the necessary predispositions for reading the subsequent sections known as the Mandates and the Similitudes, namely a watchfulness and a heightened state of anticipation.