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
- The hermeneutic task
- Zoroastrian narrative: from Avesta to the Book of Kings
- How the Hebrew Bible came to be
- Mishnah and midrash as process: the evolution of post-biblical Jewish Scriptures
- How the early Christians read the Hebrew Scriptures
- Reading the Sacred Scriptures: some evidence from early Christian Ireland
- Reading the Song of Songs: a Jewish and Christian love affair
- Mis-reading the Qur’ān: a non-Muslim pitfall?
- Modern approaches to the Qur’ān
- The reading of Scripture: A Bahá’i approach
- Hinduism and its basic texts: the Vedas, Upanishads, Epics and Puranas
- The Buddhist Reading of Scripture
- Reading the Scripture from the Sikh tradition: The Guru Granth Sahib
- Confucianism and its texts
- The Daodejing as a sacred text
- Sacred Texts of the Shinto tradition: historical sources of myth and ritual
- The Book of Isaiah and its readers: the exegetical value of reception history
- The madness of King Saul: an interpretation of I Samuel 9–31 in music
- Parallel narrative methods: Ramayana in the arts of Southeast Asia
P. Oktor Skjaervø
Rabbi Stephen Wylen
John D’Arcy May
Nikky-Guninder Kaur Singh
Stuart D. B. Picken
John F. A. Sawyer
Siobhán Dowling Long
Jukka O. Miettinen
"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