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Children's Bibles have been among the most popular and influential types of religious publications in the United States, providing many Americans with their first formative experiences of the Bible and its stories. In Children's Bibles in America, Russell W. Dalton explores the variety of ways in which children's Bibles have adapted, illustrated, and retold Bible stories for children throughout U.S. history. This reception history of the story of Noah as it appears in children's Bibles provides striking examples of the multivalence and malleability of biblical texts, and offers intriguing snapshots of American culture and American religion in their most basic forms. Dalton demonstrates the ways in which children's Bibles reflect and reveal America's diverse and changing beliefs about God, childhood, morality, and what must be passed on to the next generation. Dalton uses the popular story of Noah's ark as a case study, exploring how it has been adapted and appropriated to serve in a variety of social agendas. Throughout America's history, the image of God in children's Bible adaptations of the story of Noah has ranged from that of a powerful, angry God who might destroy children at any time to that of a friendly God who will always keep children safe. At the same time, Noah has been lifted up as a model of virtues ranging from hard work and humble obedience to patience and positive thinking. Dalton explores these uses of the story of Noah and more as he engages the fields of biblical studies, the history of religion in America, religious education, childhood studies, and children's literature.
Type: BOOK - Published: 2020-09-07 - Publisher: SBL Press
An interdisciplinary investigation of the Bible's place in American experience Much has changed since the Society of Biblical Literature's Bible in American Culture series was published in the 1980s, but the influence of the Bible has not waned. In the United States, the stories, themes, and characters of the Bible continue to shape art, literature, music, politics, education, and social movements to varying degrees. In this volume, contributors highlight new approaches that move beyond simple citation of texts and explore how biblical themes infuse US culture and how this process in turn transforms biblical traditions. Features An examination of changes in the production, transmission, and consumption of the Bible An exploration of how Bible producers disseminate US experiences to a global audience An assessment of the factors that produce widespread myths about and nostalgia for a more biblically grounded nation
Type: BOOK - Published: 2017-11-01 - Publisher: Oxford University Press
Early Americans have long been considered "A People of the Book" Because the nickname was coined primarily to invoke close associations between Americans and the Bible, it is easy to overlook the central fact that it was a book-not a geographic location, a monarch, or even a shared language-that has served as a cornerstone in countless investigations into the formation and fragmentation of early American culture. Few books can lay claim to such powers of civilization-altering influence. Among those which can are sacred books, and for Americans principal among such books stands the Bible. This Handbook is designed to address a noticeable void in resources focused on analyzing the Bible in America in various historical moments and in relationship to specific institutions and cultural expressions. It takes seriously the fact that the Bible is both a physical object that has exercised considerable totemic power, as well as a text with a powerful intellectual design that has inspired everything from national religious and educational practices to a wide spectrum of artistic endeavors to our nation's politics and foreign policy. This Handbook brings together a number of established scholars, as well as younger scholars on the rise, to provide a scholarly overview--rich with bibliographic resources--to those interested in the Bible's role in American cultural formation.
Authors: Philip Goff, Arthur E. Farnsley II, Peter J. Thuesen
Type: BOOK - Published: 2016-02-29 - Publisher: Oxford University Press
There is a paradox in American Christianity. According to Gallup, nearly eight in ten Americans regard the Bible as either the literal word of God or inspired by God. At the same time, surveys have revealed gaps in these same Americans' biblical literacy. These discrepancies reveal the complex relationship between American Christians and Holy Writ, a subject that is widely acknowledged but rarely investigated. The Bible in American Life is a sustained, collaborative reflection on the ways Americans use the Bible in their personal lives. It also considers how other influences, including religious communities and the Internet, shape individuals' comprehension of scripture. Employing both quantitative methods (the General Social Survey and the National Congregations Study) and qualitative research (historical studies for context), The Bible in American Life provides an unprecedented perspective on the Bible's role outside of worship, in the lived religion of a broad cross-section of Americans both now and in the past. The Bible has been central to Christian practice, and has functioned as a cultural touchstone From the broadest scale imaginable, national survey data about all Americans, down to the smallest details, such as the portrayal of Noah and his ark in children's Bibles, this book offers insight and illumination from scholars across the intellectual spectrum. It will be useful and informative for scholars seeking to understand changes in American Christianity as well as clergy seeking more effective ways to preach and teach about scripture in a changing environment.
Type: BOOK - Published: 2011-12-01 - Publisher: Univ of North Carolina Press
From the founding of the first colonies until the present, the influence of Christianity, as the dominant faith in American society, has extended far beyond church pews into the wider culture. Yet, at the same time, Christians in the United States have disagreed sharply about the meaning of their shared tradition, and, divided by denominational affiliation, race, and ethnicity, they have taken stances on every side of contested public issues from slavery to women's rights. This volume of twenty-two original essays, contributed by a group of prominent thinkers in American religious studies, provides a sophisticated understanding of both the diversity and the alliances among Christianities in the United States and the influences that have shaped churches and the nation in reciprocal ways. American Christianities explores this paradoxical dynamic of dominance and diversity that are the true marks of a faith too often perceived as homogeneous and monolithic. Contributors: Catherine L. Albanese, University of California, Santa Barbara James B. Bennett, Santa Clara University Edith Blumhofer, Wheaton College Ann Braude, Harvard Divinity School Catherine A. Brekus, University of Chicago Divinity School Kristina Bross, Purdue University Rebecca L. Davis, University of Delaware Curtis J. Evans, University of Chicago Divinity School Tracy Fessenden, Arizona State University Kathleen Flake, Vanderbilt University Divinity School W. Clark Gilpin, University of Chicago Divinity School Stewart M. Hoover, University of Colorado at Boulder Jeanne Halgren Kilde, University of Minnesota David W. Kling, University of Miami Timothy S. Lee, Brite Divinity School, Texas Christian University Dan McKanan, Harvard Divinity School Michael D. McNally, Carleton College Mark A. Noll, University of Notre Dame Jon Pahl, The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia Sally M. Promey, Yale University Jon H. Roberts, Boston University Jonathan D. Sarna, Brandeis University
Type: BOOK - Published: 2006 - Publisher: Univ. of Tennessee Press
Working in isolation on a Connecticut farm, Julia Smith (1792–1886) translated the Bible into English. She was the only woman to translate the entire Bible, but her work has been alternately ignored or disparaged by subsequent biblical scholars. This is in part because no English translation other than the King James Version attracted significant attention until the appearance of the Revised Standard Version in 1952.In With Her Own Eyes, Emily Sampson argues that Smith’s work anticipated trends followed by later, usually male, translators and that she deserves recognition as a pioneering and influential biblical scholar in her own right. Smith was the daughter of a preacher and lawyer and a mother who wrote poetry and studied linguistics, mathematics, and astronomy. When William Miller’s predictions of the end of the world failed, she began translating for herself from the original languages. Trained in Greek and Latin, Smith taught herself Hebrew and ultimately produced five translations. In 1876 Smith published a very literal translation at her own expense. She hoped not only that her Bible would reveal additions made to the King James Version but that her work would help bolster the case that women were, in many respects, the equal of men. Sampson also details Smith’s striking personal history. She and her four sisters were seen as eccentrics in the small town of Glastonbury. They were active in the abolitionist movement in the decades before the Civil War and later in the temperance and women’s suffrage movements. Smith attended the first meeting of the Association of the Advancement of Women, and she and her sister Abby became famous in Connecticut for their refusal to pay taxes until given the right to vote in town meetings.A comprehensive look at the intellectual, social, and political circles of Julia Smith, With Her Own Eyes is a singular portrait of one of the most remarkable autodidacts in the history of American intellectual life.
Type: BOOK - Published: 2017-07-14 - Publisher: Oxford University Press
Scholars have long recognized that Jonathan Edwards loved the Bible, but preoccupation with his roles in Western "public" life and letters has eclipsed the significance of his biblical exegesis. In Edwards the Exegete, Douglas A. Sweeney fills this lacuna, exploring Edwards' exegesis and its significance for Christian thought and intellectual history. As Sweeney shows, throughout Edwards' life the lion's share of his time was spent wrestling with the words of holy writ. After reconstructing Edwards' lost exegetical world and describing his place within it, Sweeney summarizes his four main approaches to the Bible-canonical, Christological, redemptive-historical, and pedagogical-and analyzes his work on selected biblical themes that illustrate these four approaches, focusing on material emblematic of Edwards' larger interests as a scholar. Sweeney compares Edwards' work to that of his most frequent interlocutors and places it in the context of the history of exegesis, challenging commonly held notions about the state of Christianity in the age of the Enlightenment. Edwards the Exegete offers a novel guide to the theologian's exegetical work, clearing a path that other specialists are sure to follow. Sweeney's significant reassessment of Edwards' place in the Enlightenment makes a major contribution to Edwards studies, eighteenth-century studies, the history of exegesis, the theological interpretation of Scripture, and homiletics.
Type: BOOK - Published: 2019-02-28 - Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing
The Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible gathers nearly 5,000 alphabetically ordered articles that thoroughly yet clearly explain all the books, persons, places, and significant terms found in the Bible. The Dictionary also explores the background of each biblical book and related writings and discusses cultural, natural, geographical, and literary phenomena--matters that Bible students at all levels may encounter in reading or discussion. Nearly 600 first-rate Bible authorities have contributed to the Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible. Intended as a tool for practical Bible use, this illustrated dictionary reflects recent archaeological discoveries and the breadth of current biblical scholarship, including insights from critical analysis of literary, historical, sociological, and other methodological issues. The editorial team has also incorporated articles that explore and interpret important focuses of biblical theology, text and transmission, Near Eastern archaeology, extrabiblical writings, and pertinent ecclesiastical traditions--all of which help make the Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible the most comprehensive and up-to-date one-volume Bible dictionary on the market today.
Type: BOOK - Published: 2018-10-18 - Publisher: Cornell University Press
The Bible has played a critical role in the story of Judaism, modernity, and identity. Penny Schine Gold examines the arena of children's education and the role of the Bible in the reshaping of Jewish identity, especially in the United States in the 1920s and 1930s, when a second generation of Eastern European Jews engaged the task of Americanizing Jewish culture, religion, and institutions. Professional Jewish educators based in the Reform movement undertook a multifaceted agenda for the Bible in America: to modernize it, harmonize it with American values, and move it to the center of the religious school curriculum. Through public schooling, the children of Jewish immigrants brought America home; it was up to the adults to fashion a Judaism that their children could take back out into America. Because of its historic role in the development of Judaism and its cultural significance in American life, Gold finds, the Bible provided Jews with vital links to both the past and the present. The ancient sacred text of the Bible, transformed into highly abridged and amended "Bible tales," was brought into service as a bridge between tradition and modernity. Gold analyzes these American developments with reference to the intellectual history of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Europe, innovations in public schooling and social theory, Protestant religious education, and later versions of children's Bibles in the United States and Israel. She shows that these seemingly simple children's books are complex markers of the pressing concerns of Jews in the modern world.
Type: BOOK - Published: 2016-12-01 - Publisher: Oxford University Press
No book was more accessible or familiar to the American founders than the Bible, and no book was more frequently alluded to or quoted from in the political discourse of the age. How and for what purposes did the founding generation use the Bible? How did the Bible influence their political culture? Shedding new light on some of the most familiar rhetoric of the founding era, Daniel Dreisbach analyzes the founders' diverse use of scripture, ranging from the literary to the theological. He shows that they looked to the Bible for insights on human nature, civic virtue, political authority, and the rights and duties of citizens, as well as for political and legal models to emulate. They quoted scripture to authorize civil resistance, to invoke divine blessings for righteous nations, and to provide the language of liberty that would be appropriated by patriotic Americans. Reading the Bible with the Founding Fathers broaches the perennial question of whether the American founding was, to some extent, informed by religious-specifically Christian-ideas. In the sense that the founding generation were members of a biblically literate society that placed the Bible at the center of culture and discourse, the answer to that question is clearly "yes." Ignoring the Bible's influence on the founders, Dreisbach warns, produces a distorted image of the American political experiment, and of the concept of self-government on which America is built.