God's Last Words: Reading the English Bible from the Reformation to Fundamentalism

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Yale University Press, Feb 9, 2004 - Religion - 397 pages
This wide-ranging book is an intellectual history of how informed readers read their Bibles over the past four hundred years, from the first translations in the sixteenth century to the emergence of fundamentalism in the twentieth century. In an astonishing display of erudition, David Katz recreates the response of readers from different eras by examining the horizon of expectations that provided the lens through which they read. In the Renaissance, says Katz, learned men rushed to apply the tools of textual analysis to the Testaments, fully confident that God's Word would open up and reveal shades of further truth. During the English Civil War, there was a symbiotic relationship between politics and religion, as the practical application of the biblical message was hammered out. Science - Newtonian and Darwinian, as well as the emerging disciplines of anthropology, archaeology, and geology - also had a great impact on how the Bible was received. The rise of the novel and the development of a concept of authorial copyright were other factors that altered readers' experience. Katz discusses all of these and more, concluding with the growth of fundamentalism in America, which broug

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God's last words: reading the English Bible from the Reformation to fundamentalism

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The story of the English Bible has received quite a bit of literary notice lately, but most of the works written so far-from David Daniell's magisterial The Bible in English to the more popular books ... Read full review

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Quoting from the previous review, ". . . Katz's academic tone and his references in the introduction to a number of philosophers requires a great deal of effort from readers. . ." I agree! Over the past three days, I have labored mightily to get past the first chapter. Although I have earned MS and PhD degrees, I am not a philosopher and I find Katz's book to be tedious reading. My fault, not his. 

Contents

Scriptural Politics and
40
Biblical Criticism and
74
The Demystification of the Bible
116
Aestheticization and the Persistence
153
Divine Copyright and the Apotheosis of the Author
178
Counting Out the Bible
212
Darwin Anthropology and
268
The End of a World and the Beginning
304
Suggestions for Further Reading
375
Copyright

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