The Bible and Asia: From the Pre-Christian Era to the Postcolonial Age

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9780674049079: The Bible and Asia: From the Pre-Christian Era to the Postcolonial Age
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Though the Bible is a product of West Asia, its influence on Europe and the Americas has received far more attention than its complex career in the East. R. S. Sugirtharajah corrects this imbalance with an expansive new study of Asia's subversive and idiosyncratic relationship with the Bible. This is the story of missionaries, imperialists, exegetes, reformers, and nationalists who molded Biblical texts according to their own needs in order to influence religion, politics, and daily life from India to China.

When the Bible reached east and south Asia in the third century CE, its Christian scriptures already bore traces of Asian commodities and Indian moral stories. In China, the Bible merged with the teachings of Buddha and Lao Tzu to produce the Jesus Sutras. As he recounts the history of how Christianity was influenced by other Asian religions, Sugirtharajah deftly highlights the controversial issue of Buddhist and Vedic influence on Biblical religion.

Once used to justify European rule in Asia, the Bible has also served to promote the spiritual salvation of women, outcasts, and untouchables. The Bible has left a literary mark on Asia in two ways: through its influence on Asian writers and through the reinvigoration of modern Asian vernaculars when proselytizing missionaries introduced Western print culture to the East.

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About the Author:

R. S. Sugirtharajah is Emeritus Professor of Biblical Hermeneutics at the University of Birmingham.

Review:

If Said admits in Orientalism that he has not done enough on the relationship between 'Biblical scholarship' and 'modern Orientalism,' Sugirtharajah's The Bible and Asia will contribute to help fill that lacuna and more! (Tat-Siong Benny Liew, author of What Is Asian American Biblical Hermeneutics?)

This compelling book tells a story few know and even fewer suspect--the story of Asia in the Bible and the Bible in Asia. Sugirtharajah's readers will look at the Bible with new eyes. (Karel van der Toorn, author of Scribal Culture and the Making of the Hebrew Bible)

This is the cumulation of many years of serious, daring, and creative scholarship. There is no doubt that Sugirtharajah has in this book set the standard and provided the foundation on which all subsequent work on the subject will be based. (Vincent L. Wimbush, author of White Men's Magic: Scripturalization as Slavery)

[Sugirtharajah] focuses on how the Bible has been a beacon of colonial and post-colonial exegesis and how it has been utilized for religious and political motives in Asia...[A] fascinating and illuminating survey. (Publishers Weekly 2013-10-15)

The book on the whole makes an interesting study, not just of the religion but of the people who were in direct contact through religious practices, of other regions and their reactions...The author deals with the subject dispassionately, and with a remarkable detachment; nowhere he seems to have taken sides with the people he is dealing with, a point which makes the book an excellent read...This book is a stimulating work; it explores the complex relationship between the Bible of the colonialists and the conquered. It goes far beyond the conventional studies provided so far, which were mostly one-sided and looked from the colonial point of view. In this work he packs a lot of information such as the complex relationship between the Bible and the colonial enterprise examining in depth some areas that have been overlooked in earlier studies. (K. R. A. Narasiah The Hindu 2013-10-07)

The book covers an impressive amount of ground, from how the Bible has been utilized by marginalized groups to the most vibrant arenas of contemporary scholarship...As it stands, this is an important book. (Jonathan Wright Catholic Herald 2014-03-28)

It should particularly engage scholars interested in the encounter between Christianity and the religions of Asia, offering examples of both the creative use of the Bible by non-Christians and the influence of Asian religions on European biblical hermeneutics. (J. W. McCormack Choice 2014-07-01)

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Book Description HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS, United States, 2013. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. Though the Bible is a product of West Asia, its influence on Europe and the Americas has received far more attention than its complex career in the East. R. S. Sugirtharajah corrects this imbalance with an expansive new study of Asia's subversive and idiosyncratic relationship with the Bible. This is the story of missionaries, imperialists, exegetes, reformers, and nationalists who molded Biblical texts according to their own needs in order to influence religion, politics, and daily life from India to China.When the Bible reached east and south Asia in the third century CE, its Christian scriptures already bore traces of Asian commodities and Indian moral stories. In China, the Bible merged with the teachings of Buddha and Lao Tzu to produce the Jesus Sutras. As he recounts the history of how Christianity was influenced by other Asian religions, Sugirtharajah deftly highlights the controversial issue of Buddhist and Vedic influence on Biblical religion.Once used to justify European rule in Asia, the Bible has also served to promote the spiritual salvation of women, outcasts, and untouchables. The Bible has left a literary mark on Asia in two ways: through its influence on Asian writers and through the reinvigoration of modern Asian vernaculars when proselytizing missionaries introduced Western print culture to the East. Seller Inventory # AAU9780674049079

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Book Description Harvard University Press, 2013. Condition: New. The Bible's influence on the West has received much more attention than its complex career in the East. The author's expansive study of Asia's idiosyncratic relationship with the Bible tells of missionaries, imperialists, and reformers who molded Biblical texts in order to influence religion, politics, and daily life from India to China. Num Pages: 280 pages. BIC Classification: 1F; HRAX; HRC. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 146 x 217 x 27. Weight in Grams: 472. . 2013. Hardcover. . . . . . Seller Inventory # V9780674049079

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Book Description Harvard University Press. Condition: New. The Bible's influence on the West has received much more attention than its complex career in the East. The author's expansive study of Asia's idiosyncratic relationship with the Bible tells of missionaries, imperialists, and reformers who molded Biblical texts in order to influence religion, politics, and daily life from India to China. Num Pages: 280 pages. BIC Classification: 1F; HRAX; HRC. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 146 x 217 x 27. Weight in Grams: 472. . 2013. Hardcover. . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Seller Inventory # V9780674049079

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