1st Edition

Reading the Sacred Scriptures From Oral Tradition to Written Documents and their Reception

Edited By Fiachra Long, Siobhán Dowling Long Copyright 2018
    324 Pages
    by Routledge

    324 Pages
    by Routledge

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    Reading the Sacred Scriptures: From Oral Tradition to Written Documents and their Reception examines how the scriptures came to be written and how their authority has been constructed and reinforced over time. Highlighting the measures taken to safeguard the stability of oral accounts, this book demonstrates the care of religious communities to maintain with reverence their assembled parchments and scrolls. Written by leading experts in their fields, this collection chronicles the development of the scriptures from oral tradition to written documents and their reception. It features notable essays on the scriptures of Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, Confucianism, Daoism, Christianity, Islam, Sikhism, Shinto, and Baha'i.

    This book will fascinate anyone interested in the belief systems of the featured religions. It offers an ideal starting point from which undergraduate and postgraduate religious studies students, teachers and lecturers can explore religious traditions from their historical beginnings.

    List of Figures

    List of Contributors


    Fiachra Long and Siobhán Dowling Long


    1. The hermeneutic task
    2. Fiachra Long

      Part 1

    3. Zoroastrian narrative: from Avesta to the Book of Kings
    4. P. Oktor Skjaervø

    5. How the Hebrew Bible came to be
    6. Carmel McCarthy

    7. Mishnah and midrash as process: the evolution of post-biblical Jewish Scriptures
    8. Rabbi Stephen Wylen

    9. How the early Christians read the Hebrew Scriptures
    10. Seán Freyne

    11. Reading the Sacred Scriptures: some evidence from early Christian Ireland
    12. Thomas O’Loughlin

    13. Reading the Song of Songs: a Jewish and Christian love affair
    14. Margaret Daly-Denton

    15. Mis-reading the Qur’ān: a non-Muslim pitfall?
    16. Jonathan Kearney

    17. Modern approaches to the Qur’ān
    18. Oliver Scharbrodt

    19. The reading of Scripture: A Bahá’i approach
    20. Moojan Momen

      Part 2

    21. Hinduism and its basic texts: the Vedas, Upanishads, Epics and Puranas
    22. Roshen Dalal

    23. The Buddhist Reading of  Scripture
    24. John D’Arcy May

    25. Reading the Scripture from the Sikh tradition: The Guru Granth Sahib
    26. Nikky-Guninder Kaur Singh

    27. Confucianism and its texts
    28. Lee Rainey

    29. The Daodejing as a sacred text
    30. Ronnie Littlejohn

    31. Sacred Texts of the Shinto tradition: historical sources of myth and ritual
    32. Stuart D. B. Picken

      Part 3

    33. The Book of Isaiah and its readers: the exegetical value of reception history
    34. John F. A. Sawyer

    35. The madness of King Saul: an interpretation of I Samuel 9–31 in music
    36. Siobhán Dowling Long

    37. Parallel narrative methods: Ramayana in the arts of Southeast Asia

    Jukka O. Miettinen


     Fiachra Long is a philosopher and Senior Lecturer in Education at University College Cork where he is Head of School.

    Siobhán Dowling Long is a Lecturer in Education at University College Cork.


    "The accessible and erudite, thought-through chapters of this book open up the foundational scriptures of the world religions and illumine their history of effects in the practices and self-understandings of their own traditions, and in their encounter with other religions and cultures. A first-class, thorough and original book for teaching and learning about the varied ways in which religions relate to their foundational scriptures, bringing together experts on these texts and their hermeneutics in different eras."

    - Maureen Junker-Kenny, Trinity College, Ireland

    "A nice collection of essays bound together by the common interest in hermeneutics as well as by the variety of topics and traditions presented that leads one to ponder on diversity and unity in reading sacred literature."

    - J. Verheyden, Ephemerides Theologicae Lovanienses