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Beyond the Written Word: Oral Aspects of Scripture in the History of Religion (Hardback)
  • Beyond the Written Word: Oral Aspects of Scripture in the History of Religion (Hardback)
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Beyond the Written Word: Oral Aspects of Scripture in the History of Religion (Hardback)

(author)
£67.00
Hardback 324 Pages / Published: 29/01/1988
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The concept of 'scripture' as written religious text is re-examined in this close analysis of the traditions of oral use of the sacred writings of religions around the world. Pointing out the central importance of the oral and aural experience of religious texts in the life of religious communities of both Eastern and Western cultures, William Graham asserts the need for a new perspective on how scripture has been appropriated and used by the vast majority of all people who have been religious, most of whom could neither read nor write. Graham first probes the history of literacy, focusing on the prominent role of the written word in modern Western culture and its history in Western civilisation. He then considers the unique case of scripture, examining the problems of communication of texts to illiterate or semi-literate religious communities, the various oral uses of scripture, and affective impact of the spoken holy word vis-a-vis the silently written page.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521331760
Number of pages: 324
Weight: 650 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 22 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
'Graham's recovery of the oral\aural tradition ... is a model of scholarly precision and richly suggestive for other, related investigations ... A compelling case for reassessing Christianity's dependence on the written text.' The Christian Century
'This book presents a lot of material that would have been beyond the ability of ordinary students of the history of religion to assemble, and it raises a subject that has been ignored for a very long time.' The Expository Times
'Well written for both graduate and undergraduate use.' Religious Studies Review
"The implications of this book are extensive...Graham has convincingly shown that useful and meaningful study of 'scripture,' of sacred texts, past, present or future, has to reckon with both the spoken and written word." America
"Graham's recovery of the oral/aural tradition in Beyond the Written Word is a model of scholarly precision and richly suggestive for other, related investigations. His documentation is extensive, his writing pleasantly free of jargon, and his bibliography impressive. Graham makes a compelling case for reassessing Christianity's dependence on the written text." The Christian Century
"This thoughtful, innovative, and very-well-researched work, initially published in 1987 and now reissued as a paperback, has the potential to deliver the scholarly equivalent of a knockout punch. The author's aim is sure. His timing and technique is flawless. But the target comprises a set of attitudes so subtle and yet so conspicuous that it is all but impossible to find where to land the blow. As a result, the full impact of the argument has at once a stunning and stimulating effect." International Journal of Middle East Studies

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