Religious Reading: The Place of Reading in the Practice of Religion

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9780195125771: Religious Reading: The Place of Reading in the Practice of Religion
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What social conditions and intellectual practices are necessary in order for religious cultures to flourish? Paul Griffiths finds the answer in "religious reading" --- the kind of reading in which a religious believer allows his mind to be furnished and his heart instructed by a sacred text, understood in the light of an authoritative tradition. He favorably contrasts the practices and pedagogies of traditional religious cultures with those of our own fragmented and secularized culture and insists that religious reading should be preserved.

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Paul J. Griffiths is at University of Chicago Divinity School.

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"...straightforward and convincing....Griffiths' analysis of religious reading is subtle and wide-ranging."--First Things


"In Religious Reading, one of the leading philosophers of religion of our time asks the question of the hour: What are the marks of a fully realized religious culture?... Ranging from Buddhist India to Roman Africa, from the Rabbinic house of study to the monastic refectory, Griffiths finds abundant evidence of a reverent and skillful way of assimilating sacred texts that contrasts sharply with our own society's consumerist reading habits. Historically rich, elegantly written, impeccably argued, Religious Reading is a new landmark in religious studies; it will provoke debate, open up new lines of research, and challenge religious scholars to re-examine their own intellectual practices and commitments."--Carol Zaleski, Smith College


"Griffiths offers an illuminating, profound account of religious reading and its central role in religious life. This important book covers Christian, Buddhist, and other religious practices with subtlety and well-earned insight, and it includes a trenchant, powerful critique of modern notions of literacy and 'consumerist reading.' It will be of great interest to anyone interested in the nature of religion, as well as anyone interested in literacy, education, and the role of texts in shaping our identity."--Charles Taliaferro, St. Olaf College


"Only a person with Griffiths' linguistic skills, his interdisciplinary curiosity, his iconoclastic insight, and his religious faith could have produced this work. It should certainly be read by any whose vocation calls them to work with the classics of great traditions. It will irritate and illuminate by showing us the limits of the expertise we can assert over religious texts without becoming the kind of religious readers those texts expect."--S. Mark Heim, Andover Newton Theological School


"There is much wonderful information in this book."--Commonweal


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