God's Last Words: Reading the English Bible from the Reformation to Fundamentalism

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9780300197907: God's Last Words: Reading the English Bible from the Reformation to Fundamentalism

This wide-ranging book is an intellectual history of how informed readers read their Bibles over the past four hundred years, from the first translations in the sixteenth century to the emergence of fundamentalism in the twentieth century. David Katz re-creates the response of readers from different eras by examining the horizon of expectations” that provided the lens through which they read.
During the Renaissance, says Katz, learned men rushed to apply the tools of textual analysis to the Testaments, fully confident that God’s Word would open up and reveal shades of further truth. Other developments that altered readers’ experiences included the politics of the English Civil War, Newtonian and Darwinian scientific theory, the rise of the disciplines of anthropology, archaeology, and geology, and the development of the novel and a concept of authorial copyright. Katz discusses all of these and more, concluding with the growth of fundamentalism in America, which brought biblical interpretation back to the Lutheran certainty of a demonstrable authority.

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About the Author:

David Katz holds the Abraham Horodisch Chair for the History of Books at Tel-Aviv University.

From Publishers Weekly:

It's commonplace by now to recognize that every reader or group of readers understands the Bible differently. What these readers do hold in common, however, is the notion that Scripture contains the words of God to humankind. Using the reader-response theory of Stanley Fish and Gadamer's hermeneutics (that every interpreter understands a text based on his or her own horizon of expectations regarding that text), Katz provides a sometimes fascinating, sometimes frustrating overview of the history of the Bible's reception. He traces the evolution in the interpretation of the Bible from Martin Luther and the Reformation to modern American fundamentalism. For example, Luther's community of interpretation read the Bible literally according to Luther's own dictum of sola scriptura—only Scripture was authoritative for faith and practice. By the 19th century, however, the certainty that the Bible formed a unified whole was challenged not only by Darwin's theory of evolution but also by the advent of a biblical criticism that emphasized the numerous sources that lay behind the various books of the Bible. In a brief section on American fundamentalism, Katz observes that this community's reading of the Bible echoes the literalism of Luther's readings. While the book offers a completely different model for thinking about the impact of the Bible on culture, Katz's academic tone and his references in the introduction to a number of philosophers requires a great deal of effort from readers unacquainted with these ideas.
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Book Description Yale University Press, United States, 2004. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. This wide-ranging book is an intellectual history of how informed readers read their Bibles over the past four hundred years, from the first translations in the sixteenth century to the emergence of fundamentalism in the twentieth century. In an astonishing display of erudition, David Katz recreates the response of readers from different eras by examining the horizon of expectations that provided the lens through which they read. In the Renaissance, says Katz, learned men rushed to apply the tools of textual analysis to the Testaments, fully confident that God s Word would open up and reveal shades of further truth. During the English Civil War, there was a symbiotic relationship between politics and religion, as the practical application of the biblical message was hammered out. Science - Newtonian and Darwinian, as well as the emerging disciplines of anthropology, archaeology and geology - also had great impact on how the Bible was received. The rise of the novel and the development of a concept of authorial copyright were other factors that alerted readers experience. Katz discusses all of these and more, concluding with the growth of fundamentalism in America, which brought biblical interpretation back to the Lutheran certainty of a demonstrable authority. This is a wonderfully learned, very clever, artfully constructed and engagingly written book. Peter Lake, Princeton University David S. Katz holds the Abraham Horodisch Chair for the History of Books at Tel Aviv University. He is the author of The Jews in the History of England, 1485-1850 and, with Richard H. Popkin, Messianic Revolution: Radical Religious Politics to the End of the Second Millennium . Bookseller Inventory # AAV9780300197907

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Book Description Yale University Press. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Paperback. 416 pages. Dimensions: 9.2in. x 6.1in. x 0.8in.This wide-ranging book is an intellectual history of how informed readers read their Bibles over the past four hundred years, from the first translations in the sixteenth century to the emergence of fundamentalism in the twentieth century. In an astonishing display of erudition, David Katz recreates the response of readers from different eras by examining the horizon of expectations that provided the lens through which they read. In the Renaissance, says Katz, learned men rushed to apply the tools of textual analysis to the Testaments, fully confident that Gods Word would open up and reveal shades of further truth. During the English Civil War, there was a symbiotic relationship between politics and religion, as the practical application of the biblical message was hammered out. Science - Newtonian and Darwinian, as well as the emerging disciplines of anthropology, archaeology and geology - also had great impact on how the Bible was received. The rise of the novel and the development of a concept of authorial copyright were other factors that alerted readers experience. Katz discusses all of these and more, concluding with the growth of fundamentalism in America, which brought biblical interpretation back to the Lutheran certainty of a demonstrable authority. This is a wonderfully learned, very clever, artfully constructed and engagingly written book. Peter Lake, Princeton University David S. Katz holds the Abraham Horodisch Chair for the History of Books at Tel Aviv University. He is the author of The Jews in the History of England, 1485-1850 and, with Richard H. Popkin, Messianic Revolution: Radical Religious Politics to the End of the Second Millennium. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Bookseller Inventory # 9780300197907

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