REL 620 Textual Scripts in the Study of Religion:
Ritualizing Iconic and Performative Texts

Sargent Decalogue in Boston Public
                                LibraryReading in Book of the Dead
  Fall 2022
Wednesdays 12:45-3:30 p.m. in HL 504

Instructor: JIM WATTS (Ph.D.)
Office: 501 HL; Phone: 443-5713
E-mail: jwwatts

This course engages theories and descriptions of textual scripts that shape people's words, actions and experiences, both religious and secular, and that people manipulate for spiritual and social effects on religious performances, objects, cultures, traditions and themselves.

This iteration of the course focuses on the performative/expressive and iconic ritualization of texts. Expressive texts serve as scripts for public reading, recitation, chant, and song, and may also script art and dramatic performances on stage, on screen, or in the street. People ritualize iconic texts by carrying, displaying, waving, touching and kissing them, and by portraying their images in art and other visual media to evoke connotations of learning, knowledge, wisdom, and orthodoxy, and to represent specific religious traditions. The course examines the phenomenon of iconic and performative texts through the lens of ritual theory.

The first class introduces a selection of biblical and post-biblical texts that will serve as reference points in our discussion of the scholarly secondary literature throughout the course. Students are expected to bring examples of ritual and iconic texts from cultures and traditions relevant to their own research interests into the discussions and make them the focus of their final research projects.

Course Requirements:
Students are expected to discuss in class all the required readings (listed below after Assignment). In addition, each student will (1) write and later present a report about one additional primary text or set of texts or examples with which to think about iconic or performative texts (ca. 600-800 words due September 21st), and (2) write a substantive and original research paper (ca. 4000-5000 words) in a format suitable for publication in an academic journal on a subject related to the course topic, presenting the class with a preliminary summary during the last class meetings. The finished research papers are due on or before December 16th. The student's work will be evaluated on the basis of class participation (20%), the written and oral primary text report (15%), the research presentation (15%) and the final research paper (50%). Late papers and reports will not be eligible for "A" grades.

Academic Integrity Policy:
Syracuse University’s Academic Integrity Policy holds students accountable for the integrity of the work they submit. Students should be familiar with the policy and know that it is their responsibility to learn about course-specific expectations, as well as about university policy. The university policy governs appropriate citation and use of sources, the integrity of work submitted in exams and assignments, and the veracity of signatures on attendance sheets and other verification of participation in class activities. The policy also prohibits students from submitting the same written work in more than one class without receiving written authorization in advance from both instructors. The presumptive penalty for a first offense by an undergraduate student is course failure, accompanied by a transcript notation indicating that the failure resulted from a violation of Academic Integrity Policy. The standard sanction for a first offense by a graduate student is suspension or expulsion. For more information and the complete policy, see

Disability-Related Accommodations
If you believe that you need accommodations for a disability, please contact the Office of Disability Services (ODS),, located in Room 309 of 804 University Avenue, or call (315) 443-4498, TDD: (315) 443-1371 for an appointment to discuss your needs and the process for requesting accommodations. ODS is responsible for coordinating disability-related accommodations and will issue students with documented Disabilities Accommodation Authorization Letters, as appropriate. Since accommodations may require early planning and generally are not provided retroactively, please contact ODS as soon as possible.

Religious Observances Policy
SU religious observances policy, found at, recognizes the diversity of faiths represented among the campus community and protects the rights of students, faculty, and staff to observe religious holidays according to their tradition. Under the policy, students are provided an opportunity to make up any examination, study, or work requirements that may be missed due to a religious observance provided they notify their instructors before the end of the second week of classes for regular session classes and by the submission deadline for flexibly formatted
classes. An online notification process is available through MySlice.

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The University does not discriminate and prohibits harassment or discrimination related to any protected category including creed, ethnicity, citizenship, sexual orientation, national origin, sex, gender, pregnancy, disability, marital status, age, race, color, veteran status, military status, religion, sexual orientation, domestic violence status, genetic information, gender identity, gender expression or perceived gender.

Any complaint of discrimination or harassment related to any of these protected bases should be reported to Sheila Johnson-Willis, the University’s Chief Equal Opportunity & Title IX Officer. She is responsible for coordinating compliance efforts under various laws including Titles VI, VII, IX and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. She can be contacted at Equal Opportunity, Inclusion, and Resolution Services, 005 Steele Hall, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY 13244-1120; by email:; or by telephone: 315-443-0211.

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Disability-Related Accommodations:
Syracuse University values diversity and inclusion; we are committed to a climate of mutual respect and full participation. My goal as your instructor is to create learning environments that are useable, equitable, inclusive and welcoming. If there are aspects of the instruction or design of this course that result in barriers to your inclusion or accurate assessment or achievement, I invite you to talk with me to discuss additional strategies beyond accommodations that may be helpful to your success, and to collaborate with the Center for Disability Resources (CDR) in this process.

If you would like to discuss disability-accommodations or register with CDR, please visit Center for Disability Resources. Please call (315) 443-4498 or email for more detailed information. The CDR is responsible for coordinating disability-related academic accommodations and will work with the student to develop an access plan. Since academic accommodations may require early planning and generally are not provided retroactively, please contact CDR as soon as possible to begin this process.

Health and Wellness:
Mental health and overall well-being are significant predictors of academic success. As such it is essential that during your college experience you develop the skills and resources effectively to navigate stress, anxiety, depression, and other mental health concerns. Please familiarize yourself with the range of resources the Barnes Center provides ( and seek out support for mental health concerns as needed. Counseling services are available 24/7, 365 days, at 315-443-8000, and I encourage you to explore the resources available through the Wellness Leadership Institute,

Required Texts:
The required readings consist of some passages from the Bible (listed by biblical book), readings posted online in Blackboard, and the following books:

  • William A. Graham, Beyond the Written Word: Oral Aspects of Scripture in the History of Religion (Cambridge, 1987)
  • Roy A. Rappaport, Ritual and Religion in the Making of Humanity. Cambridge UP, 1999.
  • James W. Watts, ed. Iconic Books and Texts (Sheffield: Equinox, 2013) = IB&T

The assigned articles, except biblical texts and those marked by a minus (-), are available electronically through Blackboard. The books by Graham and Rappaport are for sale in the Bookstore and also available on reserve in Bird Library. IB&T will be provided on the first day of class. For further resources relevant to the topic of this course, consult the Background readings and the other articles in the collections cited below.

Topics and Readings (for full citations, see bibliography below):




Aug 31

Scripts, Prescriptions, Scriptures

Assignment: Exodus 24-25, 31:18; Leviticus 1, 11, 19; Deuteronomy 13, 31; 2 Kings 22-23; Nehemiah 8.
Watts, "The Three Dimensions of Scriptures," IB&T

Sep 7
Ritual Texts
Assignment: Leviticus 1 in Leviticus 1-5, 9-10, 12
Goody, "Construction of a Ritual Text"
Bell, "Ritualization of Texts"
Watts, "Texts are not Rituals"
Sep 14
Writing as Performance Assignment: Exodus 24 with Exodus 25
Tuladhar-Douglas, “Writing and the Rise of Mahayana”
Yoo, "Performing Scriptures"
Austin, How to do Things with Words, 1-24
Derrida, "Signature Event Context"
Butler, Excitable Speech, 1-13, 157-63.

Sep 21


Assignment: Exodus 24 in Exodus 19-24
Ritual Criticism, selections.
Smith, JZ. “Bare Facts of Ritual.” 
Smith, JZ. "Domestication of Sacrifice."
Rappaport, Ritual and Religion, chaps. 1, 2, 4, 5.
Written primary text(s) reports due

Sep 28
Texts as Ritual Objects
Assignment: Leviticus 19 within Leviticus 17-20
Yoo, Possession and Repetition" IB&T
Suit, “Mushaf/Material Boundaries of the Qur’an” IB&T

Myrvold, "Engaging with the Guru" IB&T
Ganz, "Touching Books,"
Siekierski, "Social Life of Gospel Books"

Browse The Iconic Books Blog;
First oral primary text(s) report

Oct 5

Iconic Texts

Assignment: 2 Kings 22-23 within 2 Kings 21-25
Marty, “America's Iconic Book”
Van der Toorn, “The Iconic Book"
Parmenter, "The Iconic Book" IB&T
Plate, "Looking at Words" IB&T
Anderson, "Scriptures, Materiality, and the Digital Turn"
Second oral primary text(s) report

Oct 12
Ritualizing Iconic Texts

Assignment: Nehemiah 8 within Ezra 1, 3, 7, 9-10 and Nehemiah 9
Van der Horst, "Sortes: Sacred Books ..."
Sarefield, "Symbolics of Book Burning"
Larson, "Gospels as Imperialized Sites of Memory" IB&T

Parmenter, "How the Bible Feels,"

Waghorne, "Birthday Party for a Sacred Text," IB&T
Wilkens, "Embodying the Quran," 

Third oral primary text(s) report

Oct 19

Transcendent Texts

Assignment: Exodus 31:18 with Sira 24 (cf. Proverbs 8); Baruch 3:9-4:4; Acts 7:51-53; Genesis Rabbah 1 (first page); Qur'an, S. 3.7, 10.37, 13.39, 43.2-4

Myrvold, "Making Scripture a Person"
Rapp, "Holy Texts, Holy Men, Holy Scribes"
Parmenter, “The Bible as Icon: Myths of Divine Origins”

Kinnard, “On Buddhist ‘Bibliolaters'"

Kim, "Daoist Writs,"

Oct 26

Canon and canonization

Assignment: Deuteronomy 13 within Deuteronomy 4-6
Luke 1-2; 2 Timothy 3:14-17;
Qur'an, S. 56.77-80, 6.7

Al-Azmeh, “The Muslim Canon"

Heyman, “Canon Law and the Canon of Scripture”
JZ Smith, "Sacred Persistence"
Stordalen, "What is a Canon of Scripture?"

Nov 2

Performing Texts

Due: Paper topics and texts
Assignment: Nehemiah 8
Qur'an, S.6.7, 17.78, 75.16-18
Graham, Beyond the Written Word (all)

Nov 9

Effects of Performing Texts

Assignment: Deuteronomy 31 within Deuteronomy 30-34
Miller, "Words with an Alien Voice"
Malley, “Bible in British Folklore,” IB&T
Yoo, “Public Scripture Reading Rituals”
Pasulka, “Premodern Scriptures in Postmodern Times”

Nov 16

Performing Ritual Texts

Due: Paper thesis, bibliography and outline
Assignment: Leviticus 1 with Mishnah Berakhot 1:1-4; 4:1-7
Tambiah, “A Performative Approach to Ritual”
Asad, "Toward a Genealogy of Ritual"
Krause-Loner, “Be-Witching Scripture," IB&T
Bremmer, "From Books With Magic to Magical Books"
Humfress, "Judging by the Book"

Nov 30

 Performing Normative Scripts

Assignment: Leviticus 11 with 1 Maccabees 1 and 2 Maccabees 7
Mahmood, "Rehearsed Spontaneity"
Wimbush, White Men's Magic, selections
Arnold, "Indigenous Texts of Inhabiting Land" IB&T
Vissman, Files, Law and Media Technology, selections
Watts, "Political & Legal Uses of Scripture"

Dec 7

Paper presentations

Deuteronomy 31

Dec 16

Research Papers Due



Course Bibliography:

(see also the categorized bibliography on iconic books)

Collections of essays (with abbreviations used in following list):

  • Books as Sacred Beings, ed. J. W. Watts and Y. Yoo, Sheffield: Equinox, 2021.
  • The Cambridge History of the Bible (CHB), 3 vols., eds P. R. Ackroyd, C. F. Evans, S. L. Greenslade and G. W. H. Lampe (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1963, 1969, 1970) (available in Bird Library Reference section and in the stacks)
  • The New Cambridge History of the Bible (NCHB), 4 vols. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012, 2013)
  • Canonization and Decanonization, with An Annotated Bibliography by J. A. M. Snoek, eds. A. van der Kooij, K. van der Toorn (Leiden: Brill, 1998)
  • The Death of Sacred Texts: Ritual Disposal and Renovation of Texts in World Religions. Ed. Kristina Myrvold (London: Ashgate, 2010).
  • The Early Christian Book. Ed. William E. Klingshirn and Linda Safran (Washington: Catholic University of America Press, 2007).
  • Iconic Books and Texts (IB&T), ed. J. W. Watts (Sheffield and Bristol: Equinox, 2013)
  • The Image and the Book: Iconic Cults, Aniconism and the Rise of Book Religion in Israel and the Ancient Near East, ed. K. van der Toorn (Louven: Peeters, 1997)
  • The Impact of Scripture on Early Christianity, ed. J. den Boeft & M. L. van Poll-van de Lisdonk (Leiden: Brill, 1999)
  • Kanon in Konstruktion und Dekonstruktion, ed. Becker et al. (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2011).
  • Sensing Sacred Texts, ed. J. W. Watts, Sheffield: Equinox 2018.
  • Text, Image and Otherness in Children’s Bibles, ed. C. Vander Stichelle and H. S. Pyper (Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2012)
  • The Social Life of Scriptures: Cross-Cultural Perspectives in Biblicism. Ed. James S. Bielo. (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2009)
  • Theorizing Scriptures: New Critical Orientations to a Cultural Phenomenon. Ed. Vincent L. Wimbush. (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2008)
  • The Use of Sacred Books in the Ancient World, ed. L.V. Rutgers et al (Leuven: Peeters, 1998)

Books and articles:

  • Arnold, Phillip. “Paper Rituals and the Mexican landscape.” In Representing Aztec Ritual: Performance, Text, and Image in the Work of Sahagún. Edited by Eloise Quiñones Keber. Boulder: University Press of Colorado, 2002. 227-250.
  • Arnold, Phillip. “Black Elk and Book Culture.” Journal of the American Academy of Religion 67 (1999) 85-111.
  • Arnold, Philip P. “Indigenous 'Texts' of Inhabiting the Land: George Washington’s Wampum Belt and the Canandaigua Treaty,” Postscripts 6 (2010), 277-289 = IB&T, 361-372.
  • Balbir, Nalini. "Is a Manuscript an Object or a Living Being? Jain Views on the Life and Use of Sacred Texts." In Myrvold, Death of Sacred Texts (2010), 107-24.
  • Beal, Timothy. “Reception History and Beyond: Toward the Cultural History of Scriptures,” Biblical Interpretation 19 (2011) 357-372.
  • Beal, Timothy. “The End of the Word as We Know It: The Cultural Iconicity of the Bible in the Twilight of Print Culture,” Postscripts 6 (2010), 165-184 = IB&T, 207-224.
  • Beal, Timothy. The Rise and Fall of the Bible: The Unexpected History of an Accidental Book. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2011.
  • Bell, Catherine. "Ritualization of Texts and Textualization of Ritual in the Codification of Taoist Liturgy." History of Religions 27/4 (1988), 366-392.
  • Bell, Catherine. Ritual Theory, Ritual Practice. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992.
  • Bell, Catherine. "Scriptures—Text and Then Some." In Theorizing Scriptures, 23-28.
  • Borg, M.B. ter. “Canon and Social Control,” in Canonization and Decanonization 411-423.
  • Bremmer, Jan M. "From Books with Magic to Magical Books in Ancient Greece and Rome?" in The Materiality of Magic (ed. D. Boschung and J. N. Bremmer; Padeborn: Fink, 2015), 241-70.
  • Broo, Måns. "Rites of Burial and Immersion: Hindu Ritual Practices on Disposing of Sacred Texts in Vrindavan." In Myrvold, Death of Sacred Texts (2010), 91-106.
  • Brown, Michelle P. "“Images to be Read and Words to be Seen: The Iconic Role of the Early Medieval Book,” Postscripts 6 (2010), 39-66 = IB&T, 93-118.
  • Butler, Judith. Excitable Speech, A Politics of the Performative. New York: Routledge, 1997.
  • Camp, Claudia V. “Possessing the Iconic Book: Ben Sira as Case Study,” Postscripts 6 (2010), 309-329 = IB&T, 389-406.
  • Casson, Lionel. Libraries in the Ancient World. New Haven: Yale, 2001.
  • Chartier, Roger. Forms and Meanings: Texts, Performances, and Audiences from Codex to Computer. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1995.
  • Chireau, Yvonne P. "Conjuring Scriptures and Engendering Healing Traditions." In Theorizing Scriptures: New Critical Orientations to a Cultural Phenomenon. Ed. V. L. Wimbush. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2008. 119-27.
  • Clarke, Sathianathan. “Viewing the Bible through the Eyes and Ears of Subalterns in India.” Biblical Interpretation 10/3 (2002): 251-257.
  • Cohn, Yehudah B. Tangled Up In Text: Tefillin and the Ancient World. Providence: Brown Judaic Studies, 2008.
  • Cressey, D. “Books as Totems in Seventeenth-Century England and New England.” Journal of Library History 21/1 (1986) 92-106.
  • Dael, P.C.J. van. “Biblical Cycles on Church Walls: Pro Lectione Pictura,” in J. den Boeft & M. L. van Poll-van de Lisdonk (eds.),  The Impact of Scripture on Early Christianity 122-132.
  • Denny, Frederick M. "Recitation of the Quran," Islam and the Muslim Community (San Francisco : Harper & Row, 1987), pp. 78-88.
  • Derrida, Jacques. "Signature Event Context" (1971). In Limited Inc. Tr. Samuel Weber and Jeffrey Mehlman (Evanston, Il: Northwestern University Press, 1988), 1-21.
  • Dijk, S.J.P. "The Bible in Liturgical Use," CHB 2:220-251.
  • Drogin, Marc. Biblioclasm: The Mythical Origins, Magic Powers, and Perishability of the Written Word. Savage, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 1989.
  • Elitzur, Zeev. “Between the Textual and the Visual: Borderlines of Late Antique Book Iconicity,”Postscripts 6 (2010), 83-99 = IB&T, 135-150.
  • Gold, Penny Shine. Making the Bible Modern: Children's Bibles and Jewish Education in Twentieth-Century America. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2004.
  • Goody, Jack. “The Construction of a Ritual Text.” In The Power of the Written Tradition (Washington, DC: Smithsonian, 2000), 47-62.
  • Graham, M. Patrick. “The Tell-Tale Iconic Book,” Postscripts 6 (2010), 117-141 = IB&T, 165-186.
  • Graham, William A. Beyond the Written Word: Oral Aspects of Scripture in the History of Religion (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987).
  • Graham, William A. "Winged Words: Scriptures and Classics as Iconic Texts." Postscripts 6 (2010), 7-22 = IB&T, 33-46.
  • Griffiths, Paul J. Religious Reading: the place of reading in the practice of religion (Oxford: Oxford U.P., 1999)
  • Hettema, Th. L. “The Canon: Authority and Fascination” in Canonization and Decanonization 391-398.
  • Heyman, George. "Canon Law and the Canon of Scripture." Postscripts 2 (2006), 209-25.
  • Humfress, Caroline. “Judging by the Book: Christian Codices and Late Antique Legal Culture.” In Early Christian Book, 141-158.
  • Humphrey, Caroline and James Alexander Laidlaw. The Archetypal Actions of Ritual: An essay on ritual as action illustrated by the Jain rite of worship. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994.
  • Johannot, Yvonne. Tourner la page: livre, rites et symboles. Millon, 1988.
  • Kessler, Herbert L. "The Book as Icon." In In the Beginning: Bibles Before the Year 1000. Ed. Michelle P. Brown. Washington, DC: Smithsonian, 2006. 77-103, 222-244.
  • Kim, Jihyun. "Daoist Writs and Scriptures as Sacred Beings," Postscripts 10.1–2 (2019) 122–143 = Books as Sacred Beings (2018), 115-135,
  • Kinnard, Jacob N. “On Buddhist ‘Bibliolaters’: Representing and Worshiping the Book in Medieval Indian Buddhism.” The Eastern Buddhist 34/2 (2002) 94-116, and plates 1 and 2.
  • Kinnard, Jacob N. “It Is What It Is (Or Is It?): Further Reflections on the Buddhist Representation of Manuscripts,” Postscripts 6 (2019), 101-116 = IB&T, 151-164.
  • Krause-Loner, Shawn. “Be-Witching Scripture: The Book of Shadows as Scripture within Wicca/Neo-Pagan Witchcraft.” Postscripts 2 (2006), 273-92 = IB&T 239-58.
  • Lamb, J.A. "The Place of the Bible in the Liturgy," CHB 1:563-586.
  • Larson, Jason T. “The Gospels as Imperialized Sites of Memory in Late Ancient Christianity,”Postscripts 6 (2010), 291-307 = IB&T, 373-88.
  • Legendre, P. “La totémisation de la société: Remarques sur les montages canoniques et la question du sujet,” in Canonization and Decanonization 425-433.
  • Loner, Shawn. “Be-Witching Scripture: The Book of Shadows as Scripture within Wicca/Neo-Pagan Witchcraft.” Postscripts 2 (2006), 273-92 = IB&T, 239-58.
  • Lowden, John. “The Word Made Visible: The Exterior of the Early Christian Book as Visual Argument.” In Early Christian Book, 13-47.
  • Mahmood, Saba. "Rehearsed Spontaneity and the Conventionality of Ritual: Disciplines of Salat." American Ethnologist 28/4 (2001) 827-853.
  • Malley, Brian. How the Bible Works: An Anthropological Study of Evangelical Biblicism (Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira, 2004).
  • Malley, Brian. “The Bible in British folklore.” Postscripts 2 (2006), 241-72 = IB&T, 315-44.
  • Marty, Martin. “America's Iconic Book,” in Humanizing America's Iconic Book (ed. Gene M. Tucker and Douglas A. Knight; Chico: Scholars Press, 1982), 1-23.
  • Marty, Martin. “Scripturality: The Bible as Icon in the Republic,” chapter 7 in Religion and Republic: The American Circumstance (Boston: Beacon Press, 1987), 140-65.
  • Melanchon, Monica Jyotsna. “Dalits, Bible, and Method.” SBLForum, December, 2005.
  • Miller, Patricia Cox. "In Praise of Nonsense." In A. H. Armstrong, ed. Classical Mediterranean Spirituality (New York: Crossroad, 1986), 481-505; repr. in Miller, The Poetry of Thought in Late Antiquity (Burlington: Ashgate, 2001), 221-245.
  • Miller, Patricia Cox. "Words with an Alien Voice: Gnostics, Scripture, and Canon." Journal of the American Academy of Religion 57 (1989) 459-483; repr. in Miller, The Poetry of Thought in Late Antiquity (Burlington: Ashgate, 2001), 247-270.
  • Moerman, D. Max. "The Death of the Dharma: Buddhist Sutra Burials in Early Medieval Japan." In Myrvold, Death of Sacred Texts (2010), 71.
  • Moerman, D. Max. “The Materiality of the Lotus Sutra: Scripture, Relic, and Buried Treasure.” Dharma World 37 (July-September 2010), 15-22.
  • Morgan, David. Visual Piety: A History and Theory of Popular Religious Images. Berkeley: U. of California Press, 1998.
  • Morgan, David, ed. Icons of American Protestantism: the Art of Warner Sallman. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1996. 43-120.
  • Morgan, David. The Sacred Gaze: Religious Visual Culture in Theory and Practice. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2005. 48-74.
  • Myrvold, Kristina. Inside the Guru's Gate: Ritual Uses of Texts Among the Sikhs of Varanasi. Lund: Lund Universtiy, 2007.
  • Myrvold, Kristina. "Making the Scripture a Person: Reinventing Death Rituals of Guru Granth Sahib in Sikhism." In Myrvold, Death of Sacred Texts (2010), 125-46.
  • Myrvold, Kristina. “Engaging with the Guru: Sikh Beliefs and Practices of Guru Granth Sahib,”Postscripts 6 (2010), 201-224 = IB&T, 261-82.
  • O’Sullivan, Orlaith, ed. The Bible as Book: The Reformation. New Castle, DE.: Oak Knoll Press; London: The British Library, 2000.
  • Parmenter, Dorina Miller. “The Iconic Book: The Image of the Bible in Early Christian Rituals.” Postscripts 2 (2006), 160-89 = IB&T, 63-92.
  • Parmenter, Dorina Miller. “The Bible as Icon: Myths of the Divine Origins of Scripture,” in Jewish and Christian Scripture as Artifact and Canon (ed. Craig A. Evans and H. Daniel Zacharias; London: T. & T. Clark, 2009), 298-310.
  • Parmenter, Dorina Miller. "A Fitting Ceremony: Christian Concerns for Bible Disposal." In Myrvold, Death of Sacred Texts (2010), 55-70.
  • Parmenter, Dorina Miller. “Iconic Books from Below: The Christian Bible and the Discourse of Duct Tape,” Postscripts 6 (2010), 185-200 = IB&T, 225-38.
  • Pasulka, Diana Walsh. The Aesthetics of Nostalgia: The Return of the Real in Postmodern Christian Discourse. Ph.D. Dissertation, Syracuse University, 2003.
  • Pasulka, Diana Walsh. "Premodern Scriptures in Postmodern Times." Postscripts 2 (2006), 293-315.
  • Peters, F. E. The Voice, the Word, the Books: The Sacred Scripture of the Jews, Christians, and Muslims. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2007.
  • Phy, Allene Stuart. "The Bible and American Popular Culture: an Overview and Introduction," in The Bible and Popular Culture in America (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1985), pp. 1-23.
  • Plate, S. Brent. “Looking at Words: The Iconicity of the Page,” Postscripts 6 (2010), 67-82 =IB&T, 119-34.
  • Pulis, John W. “ ‘In the Beginning’: A Chapter from the Living Testament of Rastafari.” In Bielo, Social Life of Scriptures, 30-43.
  • Rapp, Claudia. “Holy Texts, Holy Men and Holy Scribes: Aspects of Scriptural Holiness in Late Antiquity.” In Early Christian Book, 194-222.
  • Rappaport, Roy A. Ritual and Religion in the Making of Humanity. Cambridge UP, 1999.
  • Rochberg, Francesca. Heavenly Writing: Divination, Horoscopy, and Astronomy in Mesopotamian culture. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004.
  • Sarefield, Daniel. "The Symbolics of Book Burning: The Establishment of a Christian Ritual of Persecution." In Early Christian Book, 159-73.
  • Sawyer, John F.A. Sacred Languages and Sacred Texts (London: Routledge, 1999)
  • Schleicher, Marianne. "Accounts of a Dying Scroll: On Jewish Handling of Sacred Texts in Need of Restoration or Disposal." In Myrvold, Death of Sacred Texts (2010), 11-30.
  • Sharpe, John, and Kimberly Van Kampen, eds. The Bible as Book: The Manuscript Tradition. New Castle, DE: Oak Knoll Press; London: The British Library, 1998.
  • Schechner, Richard. Performance Theory. 2nd ed. London: Routledge, 2003.
  • Schopen, Gregory. "The Phrase 'sa prthivipradesas caityabhuto bhavet' in theVajracchediku: Notes on the Cult of the Book in Mahayana." Indo-Iranian Journal 17 (1975), 147-81.
  • Seeman, Don. “Otherwise than Meaning: On the Generosity of Ritual.” Social Analysis 48/2 (2004), 55-71.
  • Smith, Jonathan Z. “Canons, catalogues and classics,” in Canonization and Decanonization (Leiden: Brill, 1998), pp. 295-311.
  • Smith, Jonathan Z. "Sacred Persistence: Toward a Redescription of Canon," in Imagining Religion: From Babylon to Jonestown (Chicago: U. of Chicago Press, 1982), pp. 36-52.
  • Smith, Jonathan Z. “Religion and the Bible.” Journal of Biblical Literature 128/1 (2009), 5-27.
  • Solibakke, Karl Ivan. “The Pride and Prejudice of the Western World: Canonic Memory, Great Books and Archive Fever,” Postscripts 6 (2010), 261-275 = IB&T, 347-60.
  • Spatharakis, I. “Early Christian Illustrated Gospel Books from the East,” The Impact of Scripture on Early Christianity (Leiden: Brill, 1999), pp. 102-121.
  • Stam, Deirdre C. "Talking about 'Iconic Books' in the Terminology of Book History." Postscripts 6 (2010), 23-38 = IB&T, 47-61.
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