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Hessayon, Ariel (2006)
Publisher: Ashgate
Languages: English
Types: Other
Subjects: V214, V340, V620, V641, V643
The Bible is the single most influential text in Western culture, yet the history of biblical scholarship in early modern England has yet to be written. There have been many publications in the last quarter of a century on heterodoxy, particularly concentrating on the emergence of new sects in the mid-seventeenth century and the perceived onslaught on the clerical establishment by freethinkers and Deists in the late-seventeenth and early-eighteenth century. However, the study of orthodoxy has languished far behind.\ud \ud This volume of complementary essays will be the first to embrace orthodox and heterodox treatments of scripture, and in the process question, challenge and redefine what historians mean when they use these terms. The collection will dispel the myth that a critical engagement with sacred texts was the preserve of radical figures: anti-scripturists, Quakers, Deists and freethinkers. For while the work of these people was significant, it formed only part of a far broader debate incorporating figures from across the theological spectrum engaging in a shared discourse.\ud \ud To explore this discourse, scholars have been drawn together from across the fields of history, theology and literary criticism. Areas of investigation include the inspiration, textual integrity and historicity of scriptural texts, the relative authority of canon and apocrypha, prophecy, the comparative merits of texts in different ancient languages, developing tools of critical scholarship, utopian and moral interpretations of scripture and how scholars read the Bible. Through a study of the interrelated themes of orthodoxy and heterodoxy, print culture and the public sphere, and the theory and practice of textual interpretation, our understanding of the histories of religion, theology, scholarship and reading in seventeenth-century England will be enhanced.
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