Rethinking Scripture

Essays from a Comparative Perspective

Edited by Miriam Levering

Subjects: Literary Criticism
Paperback : 9780887066146, 276 pages, July 1988
Hardcover : 9780887066139, 276 pages, July 1988

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Table of contents


Introduction: Rethinking Scripture
Miriam Levering

1. The Study of Religion and the Study of the Bible
Wilfred Cantwell Smith

2. Scripture as Form and Concept: Their Emergence for the Western World
Wilfred Cantwell Smith

3. Scripture and Its Reception: A Buddhist Case
Miriam Levering

4. "Scripture" in India: Towards a Typology of the Word in Hindu Life
Thomas B. Coburn

5. Scripture as Spoken Word
William A. Graham

6. The 'Canons' of 'Scripture'
Kendall W. Folkert

7. The Bride of Israel: The Ontological Status of Scripture in the Rabbinic and Kabbalistic Traditions
Barbara A. Holdrege




Exploring the nature of texts, this book explains how scriptures function within religions. Topics covered include the oral dimensions of scripture, canon formation, a study of the word in Hindu life, and the role of text in Buddhism.

Miriam Levering is a Professor in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Tennessee.


"The essays succeed in challenging our set ideas about what sacred texts are and how they function. It provokes us to think in terms outside our Judeo-Christian view. Many books deal with the nature of sacred texts, but few are willing to look at the problem of what it means to be a sacred text. This work makes an important and most unique contribution to the literature. " — Thomas P. Kasulis, Northland College

"There is a universal scope to the essays that invites thoughtful reading, discussion and further research across a wide range of fields within religious studies: textual, contextual, historical/developmental, ritual, symbolic, and many others. " — Frederick M. Denny, Department of Religious Studies, University of Colorado, Boulder