Title

Relic Texts

Document Type

Article

Date

2012

Embargo Period

2-24-2014

Keywords

iconic books, relics, texts, book history, scriptures

Language

English

Disciplines

Biblical Studies | Comparative Methodologies and Theories | Other Arts and Humanities | Religion

Description/Abstract

Religious traditions typically ritualize their scriptures in three dimensions. Other kinds of texts may be ritualized in one or two dimensions (e.g. the performative dimension of the scripts of plays or sheet music, the semantic dimension of national law codes), but the regular ritualization of a text in all three dimensions usually distinguishes it as a scripture or sacred text. There are, however, some texts or, more accurately, some specific copies of texts, that tend to be ritualized only in the iconic dimension, and scriptures feature prominently among them. I term such texts “relic books.” Relic books are writings that are valued for being the specific objects that they are. These objects are rare, if not one-of-a-kind, and are in theory not reproducible. This paper describes relic texts and illustrates how they function both within religious groups and in secular society with examples from recent news stories.

Additional Information

James W. Watts, "Relic Texts," Iconic Books Blog June 8, 2012. © James W. Watts 2012

Source

http://iconicbooks.blogspot.com/2012/06/relic-texts.html

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

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