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Chronicles the personalities involved in the making of the King James Bible, explaining the process in which it was translated and the political and religious environment of the early 17th century.
In their elegant but often overlooked preface to the King James Bible, the translators asserted, “Translation it is that openeth the window, to let in the light; that breaketh the shell, that we may eat the kernel; that putteth aside the curtain, that we may look into the most holy place; that removeth the cover of the well, that we may come by the water.” In celebration of the work of these translators and the fruit of their labors, the authors of this volume, representing a wide range of disciplines and perspectives, examine the cultural and religious monument that is the King James Bible. After David G. Burke's introduction to the volume, Alister McGrath, Benson Bobrick, Lynne Long, and John R. Kohlenberger III explore in part 1 “The World of Bible Translation before the King James Version.” In part 2, A. Kenneth Curtis, Barclay M. Newman and Charles Houser, and Jack Lewis investigate “The Making of the King James Bible,” while in part 3 Leonard J. Greenspoon, Cheryl J. Sanders, Lamin Sanneh, David Lyle Jeffrey, and James R. White review “The World of Bible Translation after the King James Bible.” By looking at the historical context in which the translation was born, exploring its beauty and complexity, and evaluating its lasting impact on church and society throughout the English-speaking world, this volume provides a comprehensive introduction to the King James Bible and its influence throughout the centuries.
Studies of religion have a tendency to conceptualise 'the Spirit' and 'the Letter' as mutually exclusive and intrinsically antagonistic. However, the history of religions abounds in cases where charismatic leaders deliberately refer to and make use of writings. This book challenges prevailing scholarly notions of the relationship between 'charisma' and 'institution' by analysing reading and writing practices in contemporary Christianity. Taking up the continuing anthropological interest in Pentecostal-charismatic Christianity, and representing the first book-length treatment of literacy practices among African Christians, this volume explores how church leaders in Zambia refer to the Bible and other religious literature, and how they organise a church bureaucracy in the Pentecostal-charismatic mode. Thus, by examining social processes and conflicts that revolve around the conjunction of Pentecostal-charismatic and literacy practices in Africa, Spirits and Letters reconsiders influential conceptual dichotomies in the social sciences and the humanities and is therefore of interest not only to anthropologists but also to scholars working in the fields of African studies, religious studies, and the sociology of religion.
Eugene Peterson's landmark Spiritual Theology series is foundational reading for the twenty-first century Church. The product of Peterson's many years' experience as both pastor and professor of the highest calibre, this series combines first-class scholarship and genuine, lived application. Beautifully written, its presents a fresh and urgent evaluation of contemporary Christian spirituality. 'St John walks up to the angel and say, "Give me the book."' writes Peterson. 'The angel hands it over, "Here it is; eat it, eat the book." And John does. He eats the book - not just reads it - he got it into his nerve endings, his reflexes, his imagination. The book he ate was Holy Scripture.' Eat This Book encourages the art of the reading the Bible so that it becomes a text for living and growing, not just thinking or behaving, and recasts the ancient discipline of lectio divina - spiritual reading - for a postmodern culture. Also available in the Spiritual Theology series: Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places, The Jesus Way, The Word Made Flesh and Practise Resurrection.
Geoffrey Galt Harpham’s book takes its title from a telling anecdote. A few years ago Harpham met a Cuban immigrant on a college campus, who told of arriving, penniless and undocumented, in the 1960s and eventually earning a GED and making his way to a community college. In a literature course one day, the professor asked him, “Mr. Ramirez, what do you think?” The question, said Ramirez, changed his life because “it was the first time anyone had asked me that.” Realizing that his opinion had value set him on a course that led to his becoming a distinguished professor. That, says Harpham, was the midcentury promise of American education, the deep current of commitment and aspiration that undergirded the educational system that was built in the postwar years, and is under extended assault today. The United States was founded, he argues, on the idea that interpreting its foundational documents was the highest calling of opinion, and for a brief moment at midcentury, the country turned to English teachers as the people best positioned to train students to thrive as interpreters—which is to say as citizens of a democracy. Tracing the roots of that belief in the humanities through American history, Harpham builds a strong case that, even in very different contemporary circumstances, the emphasis on social and cultural knowledge that animated the midcentury university is a resource that we can, and should, draw on today.

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