Biblical Blaspheming: Trials of the Sacred for a Secular Age

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9781107007864: Biblical Blaspheming: Trials of the Sacred for a Secular Age
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This book explores the strange persistence of 'blasphemy' in modern secular democracies by examining how accepted and prohibited ways of talking and thinking about the Bible and religion have changed over time. In a series of wide-ranging studies engaging disciplines such as politics, literature and visual theory, Yvonne Sherwood brings the Bible into dialogue with a host of interlocutors including John Locke, John Donne and the 9/11 hijackers, as well as artists such as Sarah Lucas and René Magritte. Questions addressed include: · What is the origin of the common belief that the Bible, as opposed to the Qur'an, underpins liberal democratic values? · What kind of artworks does the biblical God specialise in? · If pre-modern Jewish, Christian and Islamic responses to scripture can be more 'critical' than contemporary speech about religion, how does this affect our understanding of secularity, modernity and critique?

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This book considers the Bible as a public edifice and cultural symbol as well as a set of texts and images that are often strangely 'unbiblical' and 'irreligious'. Sherwood considers different ways of talking and thinking about the Bible and investigates blasphemy across disciplines including politics, literature and visual theory.

About the Author:

Yvonne Sherwood is Professor of Bible, Religion and Culture at the University of Glasgow. She is author of A Biblical Text and Its Afterlives: The Survival of Jonah in Western Culture (Cambridge University Press, 2000); Derrida's Bible: Reading a Page of Scripture with a Little Help from Derrida (2004); The Prostitute and the Prophet (2004) and, with Stephen Moore, of The Invention of the Biblical Scholar: A Critical Manifesto (2011). She is co-editor of Sanctified Aggression: Legacies of Biblical and Post-Biblical Vocabularies of Violence (with Jonneke Bekkenkamp, 2003) and, with Kevin Hart, of Derrida and Religion: Other Testaments (2004).

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