This book follows the theme of sacred text from Benjamin's early writings on religion, Judaism, and language to the study of Baroque tragedy, modernism, history and the Paris Arcades. All of these writings reflect a commentary on the idea of the sacred text in Western culture.
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Britt's lucid and accessible exploration of the category of sacred text in Walter Benjamin's work is an important addition to the already sizable body of critical literature devoted to Benjamin's writing. Returning the subject of "sacred text" to view is itself a service to biblical scholars and others in religious studies concerned with the scriptural function of texts--whether "sacred" or not. Britt sees Benjamin as an ally in moving beyond the dichotomy between externalist, historical-critical concepts of sacred texts and internalist, confessional ones. Beyond that dichotomy lies the real world task of regaining "pure language," not reducing language to an instrument for transferring information but for encountering the world in every word. The idea of sacred text, Britt maintains, runs through Benjamin's writings--and if Benjamin was right, it runs through the world. Readers unfamiliar with Benjamin will find this a delightfully clear introduction to his work; those who know his work will find a new appreciation for the theology with which it is saturated. Steve Schroeder
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Book Description Edwin Mellen Press, Lewiston, N.Y., 2003. Hardcover. Book Condition: Very Good. 8vo, hardcover. No dj. Vg+ condition. Single ex-lib stamp on 1 early pg (only marking), board edges very faintly rubbed, contents bright, crisp & clean. 156 pp. Bookseller Inventory # 1050530.26