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Contribution to Book
Writing Commentary as Ritual and as Discovery
Religion
  • James Watts, Syracuse University
Document Type
Book Chapter
Date
1-1-2015
Keywords
  • Bible,
  • biblical studies,
  • Hebrew Bible,
  • Leviticus,
  • commentary,
  • ritual,
  • rhetoric
Language
English
Disciplines
Description/Abstract
This study combines rhetoric, ritual studies, and comparative scriptures studies to open new avenues for understanding both biblical texts and their cultural history as a scripture. Labelling commentary as ritual, specifically as a ritualized genre of text, leads to the observation that commentary not only contributes to the Bible’s status as a scripture, it depends on that status as well. Ritual theories provide explanations for the dynamic interaction of tradition and innovation in commentary writing. Analysis of commentary writing and reading as a form of ritualizing the semantic dimension of a scripture provides a step forward in understanding how religious and academic communities use scriptures both to conserve a tradition and to adapt it to new circumstances.
Additional Information

In The Genre of Biblical Commentary: Essays in Honor of John E. Hartley (ed. William Yarchin and Timothy Finlay; Wipf & Stock, 2015), pp. 40-53.

Reproduced by permission of Wipf and Stock Publishers. www.wipfandstock.com.

Source
local input
Citation Information
James W. Watts, “Writing Commentary as Ritual and as Discovery,” in The Genre of Biblical Commentary: Essays in Honor of John E. Hartley (ed. William Yarchin and Timothy Finlay; Wipf & Stock, 2015), 40-53.
Creative Commons License
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0