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January 15 , 2010

Scripturalizing the Human

The Written as the Political


Scripturalizing the Human is a transdisciplinary collection of essays that reconceptualizes and models "scriptural studies" as a critical, comparative set of practices with broad ramifications for scholars of religion and biblical studies. This critical historical and ethnographic project is focused on scriptures/scripturalization/scripturalizing as shorthand for the (psycho-cultural and socio-political) "work" we make language do for and to us. Each essay focuses on an instance of or situation involving such work, engaging with the Bible, Book of Mormon, Bhagavata Purana, and other sacred texts, artifacts, and practices in order to explore historical and ongoing constructions of the human. Contributors use the category of "scriptures"—understood not simply as texts, but as freighted shorthand for the dynamics and ultimate politics of language—as tools for self-illumination and self-analysis. The significance of the collection lies in the window it opens to the rich and complex view of the highs and lows of human-(un-)making as it establishes the connections between a seemingly basic and apolitical religious category and a set of larger social-cultural phenomena and dynamics.

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