Refractions of the Scriptural is a transdisciplinary collection of essays that seeks to construct a new field of scholarly inquiry with scriptures as a fraught category, analytical wedge, and site for excavation and problematization. The book focuses on the ways in which individual and social bodies manipulate—and are manipulated by— the politics and power encoded in language and formalized canonical knowledge. Scriptures, in this sense, function as complex phenomena that are instrumental to social conservatism as well as social critique and social change. The essays in this volume, written by established and up-and-coming scholars across a wide range of disciplines, seek to locate, engage, and interpret the ways in which the scriptural shapes and reshapes people and the dynamics of identity formation. The chapters are organized around four domains or types of inquiry: the cognitive, the conscientized, the inscriptive, and the formative. It will be of interest to scholars of religion, as well as those interested more broadly in critical social and historical studies.
Introduction: Scriptures and Transgression Part I: The Cognitive (Or: Ways of Knowing) 1. Scriptures, Culture, and Cognition William E. Deal 2. Scripture as Ground and Idea Wesley A. Kort Part II: Conscientization (Or: Knowing the Self in the World) 3. The Blue Cat Scholar: Answering the Call for a New Critical Orientation to the Study of Scriptures Velma E. Love 4. The Institute for Signifying Scriptures: Toward A Critical Emancipatory Intellectual Space Elisabeth Schuessler Fiorenza 5. Transgressing Racial Sexual Policing: A Counter-Scripturalization of Black and White Bodies Cécile Coquet-Mokoko 6. Trespassing Scriptural Boundaries: Secularism, Specialization and the Humanities C. Travis Webb Part III: The Inscriptive (Or: Making the World) 7. The Great and Proper Names Used in America Rosamond C. Rodman 8. Edenic Gardens and African Landscapes Grey Gundaker Part IV: The Formative (Or: [Re-] Making the World 9. Competing Land Claims and Conflicting Scriptures: Chemehuevi and Chicano Sacred Sites in Blythe, California Jacqueline M. Hidalgo 10. Journey-s to the West: (Re)Writing Scripts, Scriptures, and Scripturalization Tat-siong Benny Liew 11. Reading Black Identity: Kimbanguism and the Bible Aurélien Gampiot Afterword: The Fruits of Transgression Leif E. Vaage