How the Bible Works: An Anthropological Study of Evangelical Biblicism / Edition 1

How the Bible Works: An Anthropological Study of Evangelical Biblicism / Edition 1

by Brian Malley
Pub. Date:
AltaMira Press


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How the Bible Works: An Anthropological Study of Evangelical Biblicism / Edition 1

What do evangelicals believe when they 'believe in the Bible?' Despite hundreds of English versions that differ in their texts, evangelicals continue to believe that there is a stable text—'the Bible'—which is the authoritative word of God and an essential guide to their everyday lives. To understand this phenomenon of evangelical Biblicism, anthropologist and biblical scholar Brian Malley looks not to the words of the Bible but to the Bible-believing communities. For as Malley demonstrates, it is less the meaning of the words of the Bible itself than how 'the Bible' provides a proper ground for beliefs that matters to evangelicals. Drawing on recent cognitive and social theory and extensive fieldwork in an evangelical church, Malley's book is an invaluable guide for seminarians, social scientists of religion, or for anyone who wants to understand just how the Bible works for American evangelicals.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780759106659
Publisher: AltaMira Press
Publication date: 06/28/2004
Series: Cognitive Science of Religion Series
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 184
Product dimensions: 6.34(w) x 9.02(h) x 0.53(d)

About the Author

Brian Malley studied comparative religion at Western Michigan University (M.A., 1994) and anthropology at the University of Michigan (Ph.D., 2002). He currently lectures in psychology at the University of Michigan. His main interests are religion and the intersection of culture and cognition.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1Creekside Baptist Church17
The Bible at Issue17
Creekside Baptist Church21
Methodological Reflections34
Chapter 2What Is "the Bible"?37
Versions and Variants37
Chapter 3Interpretation and Tradition73
Interpretive Tradition74
A Hermeneutic Tradition?87
Hermeneutic Activity103
Between Irrelevance and Anarchy120
Indefinite Interpretability125
Chapter 4Biblical Authority127
The Problem of Biblical Authority127
The Nature of Biblical Authority136
Dialogical Biblicism137
Principle vs. Practice143
Chapter 5The Structure of Biblicism145
A New Model145
Comparison to the Commonsense Model147
The Epidemiology of American Evangelical Biblicism152
About the Author173

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