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Full-Text Articles in Arts and Humanities

The Three Dimensions Of Scriptures, James Watts May 2015

The Three Dimensions Of Scriptures, James Watts

James Watts

This article proposes a new model for understanding the ways that scriptures function. Several big media stories of recent years, such as those surrounding controversies over Ten Commandments monuments in U.S. courthouses and Qur’ans desecrated at Guantánomo Bay, involve the iconic function of scriptures. Yet contemporary scholarship on Jewish, Christian or Muslim scriptures is ill-prepared to interpret these events because it has focused almost all its efforts on textual interpretation. Even the increased attention to the performative function of scripture by Wilfred Cantwell Smith and his students does not provide resources for understanding the iconic roles of scriptures ...


Teleinvestmentevangelists: Celebrity, Ritual And Religion And The Quest To “Beat The Market”, E. Douglas, Mary Keller, Elton Mcgoun Dec 2014

Teleinvestmentevangelists: Celebrity, Ritual And Religion And The Quest To “Beat The Market”, E. Douglas, Mary Keller, Elton Mcgoun

Mary L Keller

Purpose – This paper aims to offer a cultural understanding of investor faith in stock picking despite overwhelming evidence questioning its efficacy. Why, in the face of very widely communicated findings calling into question the advice and assistance offered by financial professionals to help them pick stocks or manage their mutual funds, do so many people persist in these practices? The authors believe that the best way to understand investor faith in the efficacy of stock picking is through teleinvestmentevangelists such as Jim Cramer, whose fusion of celebrity and religion taps into the ritualistic elements of investment that usually lie hidden ...


Execration Ritual, Kerry Muhlestein Oct 2014

Execration Ritual, Kerry Muhlestein

Kerry Muhlestein

The execration ritual was intended to prevent rebellious actions by Egyptians, foreigners, or supernatural forces by textually and kinetically destroying enemies via inanimate, animal, or human substitutes. Execration rites are attested throughout Pharaonic history.


Odnos Žrtve I Milosti U Oblicima Obožavanja I Postizanja Mira, Matija Kovačević Jun 2013

Odnos Žrtve I Milosti U Oblicima Obožavanja I Postizanja Mira, Matija Kovačević

Matija Kovačević

Žrtva je jedan od najrasprostranjenijih pojmova diljem svjetskih kultura. Prisutan je u sekularnom i religijskom rječniku, svakodnevnim i izvanrednim prilikama, privatnoj i javnoj sferi. U skladu s time, neki oblik žrtvenog rituala našao se u praktički svim svjetskim kulturama i tradicijama. Iako umanjeni i promijenjenih oblika, ni danas nisu nestali iz čovječanstva, a u prošlosti su sačinjavali uobičajeni dio svakodnevnog života. Svrha žrtvenih rituala bila je raznovrsna, ali jedan od najčešćih motiva kojim su bili prožeti jest pomirenje s božanstvom, zajedno s izbjegavanjem kazne i osiguranjem života i sigurnosti pojedincu i/ili svijetu. S druge strane, koncept milosti i milosrđa ...


'Olah: The Rhetoric Of Burnt Offerings, James Watts Feb 2012

'Olah: The Rhetoric Of Burnt Offerings, James Watts

James Watts

The ‘olah offering receives pride of place in most lists of sacrifices in the Hebrew Bible, including the ritual rules of Leviticus. Its prominence in these texts suggests that the writers expected its mention to have an effect on their audience. This rhetorical effect must be evaluated and understood before the references to the `olah can be used to reconstruct ancient religious practices reliably. A comparative analysis of the rhetoric about the `olah suggests that its priority burnished the image of priests as devoted selflessly to divine worship and drew attention away from their economic interests in the sacrificial system ...


Desecrating Scriptures, James Watts Feb 2012

Desecrating Scriptures, James Watts

James Watts

Desecrations of books of scripture appear regularly in media coverage of religious and political conflicts. Twenty-first century news media have reported scripture desecrations in various Western, Middle Eastern, African, and South Asian countries. Though political tensions also arise from the desecration of sacred sites, objects, and persons, books of scripture have emerged as particularly potent objects of contestation. That is because, as a (very) old form of media themselves, scriptures encapsulate the religious experiences of many people who are used to handling the physical book with veneration. News of such a book’s desecration thus inverts a common religious experience ...


Sacred Visions Of Law, Robert Tsai Feb 2005

Sacred Visions Of Law, Robert Tsai

Robert L Tsai

Around the time of the Bicentennial Celebration of the U.S. Constitution’s framing, Sanford Levinson called upon Americans to renew our “constitutional faith.” This Article answers the call by explicating the ways in which two landmark constitutional law decisions—Marbury v. Madison and Brown v. Board of Education—have been used by jurists over the years to tend the American community of faith. Blending constitutional theory and the study of religious form, the Article argues that the legal symbols have become increasingly linked in the legal imagination even as they have come to signify very different sacred visions of ...


Ritual Legitimacy And Scriptural Authority, James Watts Dec 2004

Ritual Legitimacy And Scriptural Authority, James Watts

James Watts

Theorists of ritual have frequently criticized the old tendency in Western culture to dichotomize ritual and text by pointing to the ritual uses of scripture that reinforce its authority. This article extends that argument by illustrating how Torah gained its authoritative position because it validated the rites of the Jerusalem Temple. In first millennium BCE Egyptian, Jewish and Greek cultures, old texts were used to authorize and validate ritual practices. From such usage grew the idea of the religious authority of ritual texts. When one such text, the Torah, included legal and narrative materials as well as ritual instructions, its ...