Shakespeare, the Bible, and the Form of the Book: Contested Scriptures, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Shakespeare, the Bible, and the Form of the Book

Contested Scriptures, 1st Edition

Edited by Travis DeCook, Alan Galey


220 pages

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Why do Shakespeare and the English Bible seem to have an inherent relationship with each other? How have these two monumental traditions in the history of the book functioned as mutually reinforcing sources of cultural authority? How do material books and related reading practices serve as specific sites of intersection between these two textual traditions? This collection makes a significant intervention in our understanding of Shakespeare, the Bible, and the role of textual materiality in the construction of cultural authority. Departing from conventional source study, it questions the often naturalized links between the Shakespearean and biblical corpora, examining instead the historically contingent ways these links have been forged. The volume brings together leading scholars in Shakespeare, book history, and the Bible as literature, whose essays converge on the question of Scripture as source versus Scripture as process—whether that scripture is biblical or Shakespearean—and in turn explore themes such as cultural authority, pedagogy, secularism, textual scholarship, and the materiality of texts. Covering an historical span from Shakespeare’s post-Reformation era to present-day Northern Ireland, the volume uncovers how Shakespeare and the Bible’s intertwined histories illuminate the enduring tensions between materiality and transcendence in the history of the book.


"Recommended" --Choice

'This collection of essays is rich and stimulating. I commend it highly to those interested in the contested material and cultural intersections of Shakespeare and the Bible.' - Deirdre Good, Relegere: Studies in Religion and Reception

Table of Contents

Contents List of Figures Acknowledgements 1: Scriptural Negotiations and Textual Afterlives, Travis DeCook and Alan Galey 2: Shakespeare Reads the Geneva Bible, Barbara Mowat 3: Cain’s Crime of Secrecy and the Unknowable Book of Life: The Complexities of Biblical Referencing in Richard II, Scott Schofield 4: Paulina, Corinthian Women, and the Revisioning of Pauline and Early Modern Patriarchal Ideology in The Winter’s Tale, Randall Martin 5: The Tablets of the Law: Reading Hamlet with Scriptural Technologies, Alan Galey 6: Shakespeare and the Bible: Against Textual Materialism, Edward Pechter 7: Going Professional: William Aldis Wright on Shakespeare and the English Bible, Paul Werstine 8: ‘Stick to Shakespeare and the Bible. They’re the roots of civilisation’: Nineteenth Century Readers in Context, Andrew Murphy 9: The Devotional Texts of Victorian Bardolatry, Charles LaPorte 10: Apocalyptic Archives: The Reformation Bible, Secularity, and the Text of Shakespearean Scripture, Travis DeCook 11: Disintegrating the Rock: Ian Paisley, British Shakespeare, and Ulster Protestantism, David Coleman


About the Editors

Travis DeCook is an Associate Professor in the Department of English Language and Literature at Carleton University.

Alan Galey is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Information at the University of Toronto, where he also teaches in the Book History and Print Culture program.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Shakespeare

This series is our home for cutting-edge, upper-level scholarly studies and edited collections. Considering Shakespeare alongside topics such as religion, politics, gender, race, ecology, popular culture, and history, titles are characterized by dynamic interventions into established subjects and innovative studies on emerging topics.

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