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Iconic Books and Texts Iconic Books and Texts
Edited by: James W. Watts
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Images of books appear in art, advertising and commercial logos to symbolize learning, knowledge and wisdom. In religious and secular rituals around the globe, people carry, show, wave, touch and kiss books and other texts, as well as read them. Such images and rituals utilize the iconic dimension of texts. This volume is the first comprehensive survey of iconic books and texts. It traces their development and influence from ancient to modern times and compares their roles in multiple cultures and religious traditions. The twenty-two essays presented here are original, cutting-edge contributions to this new academic field, and will appeal to students and scholars across the study of religions, literature, book history, archives and libraries.

James W. Watts, Introduction

Part 1: Categorizing Iconic Books
JAMES W. WATTS (Syracuse) The Three Dimensions of Scriptures
WILLIAM A. GRAHAM (Harvard) 'Winged Words': Scriptures and Classics as Iconic Texts
DEIRDRE C. STAM (Long Island) Talking about 'Iconic Books' in the Terminology of Book History

Part 2: Images and Texts
DORINA MILLER PARMENTER (Spalding) The Iconic Book; The Image of the Bible in Early Christian Rituals
MICHELLE BROWN (London) Images to be Read and Words to be Seen: the Iconic Role of the Early Medieval Book
S. BRENT PLATE (Hamilton) Looking at Words: The iconicity of the Page
ZE'EV ELITZUR (Ben-Gurion) Between the Textual and the Visual: Borderlines of Late Antique Book Iconicity
JACOB KINNARD (Iliff) It is what it is (or is it?): Further Reflections on the Buddhist Representation of Manuscripts
M. PATRICK GRAHAM (Emory) The Tell-Tale Iconic Book: The Hermeneutics of 16th Century Biblical Illustrations

Part 3: Materials & Markets
NATALIA SUIT (UNC Chapel Hill) Mushaf and the Material Boundaries of the Qur'an
TIMOTHY BEAL (Case Western) The End of the Word as We Know It: The Cultural Iconicity of the Bible in the Twilight of Print Culture
DORINA MILLER PARMENTER (Spalding) Iconic Books From Below: The Christian Bible and the Discourse of Duct Tape
SHAWN LONER (Syracuse) Be-Witching Scripture: The Book of Shadows as Scripture within Wicca/Neopagan Witchcraft

Part 4: Book Rituals
KRISTINA MYRVOLD (Lund) Engaging with the Guru: Sikh Beliefs and Practices of Guru Granth Sahib
JOANNE PUNZO WAGHORNE (Syracuse) A Birthday Party for a Sacred Scripture: The Gita Jayanti and the Embodiment of God as the Book
YOHAN YOO (Seoul) Possession and Repetition: Ways in which Korean Lay Buddhists Appropriate Scriptures
BRIAN MALLEY (Michigan) The Bible in British Folklore

Part 5: Power & Scholarship
KARL IVAN SOLIBAKKE (Syracuse) The Pride and Prejudice of the Western World: Canonic Memory, Great Books and Archive Fever
PHILIP P. ARNOLD (Syracuse) Indigenous 'Texts'of Inhabiting the Land: George Washington's Wampum Belt and the Canadaigua Treaty
JASON LARSON (Bates) The Gospels as Imperialized Sites of Memory in Late Ancient Christianity
CLAUDIA CAMP (TCU) Possessing the Iconic Book: Ben Sira as Case Study
JAMES W. WATTS (Syracuse) Ancient Iconic Texts and Scholarly Expertise

The 22 essays in this volume creatively and effectively draw together different historical epochs, varied religious and cultural traditions and ritual practices, and diverse scholarly methodologies to create a finely woven tapestry depicting the enduring, transcultural, and mutually supportive significances of iconic books and texts. This collection will help foster meaningful cross-disciplinary conversation between readers interested in all aspects of the history of the book.
Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing News
, Spring 2014

ISBN-13 (Hardback)9781845539856
Price (Hardback)60.00/$99.95
Publication DateMay 2013
Size234 x 156mm
Illustrations4 figures

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