Pub. Date:
Augsburg Fortress, Publishers
What Is Scripture?: A Comparative Approach

What Is Scripture?: A Comparative Approach

by Wilfred Smith
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"Scripture" is no longer an absolute. In the last two centuries, as Westerners have become more keenly conscious of the flatly historical character of their own biblical documents, they have also realized the normative function of scripture in other traditions.

W. C. Smith's vastly erudite work asks how it is that certain texts have so seeped into human life - in a rich, complex, and powerful way - as to be deemed sacred. Examining the history and use of scripture in the world's major religious traditions, he shows how and why scripture continues to carry momentous and at times appalling power in human affairs.

In the end, Smith's creative proposal is valuable not only for showing what it means to hold a text as sacred, or to treasure another's scripture, but also for the light it sheds in a troubled culture on what it means to be human.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780800626082
Publisher: Augsburg Fortress, Publishers
Publication date: 07/01/1994
Series: Political Thought
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 995,004
Product dimensions: 5.31(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.12(d)

About the Author

Wilfred Cantwell Smith is professor Emeritus of the Comparative History of Religion, Harvard University, where he also served for nine years as Director of the Center for the Study of World Religions and then as chair of the Committee on the Study of Religion.

Table of Contents


Introduction: Presenting the Issue

A Particular Example, to Illustrate

Scripture as Form and concept: Historical Background

The True Meaning of Scripture: the Qur'an as an Example

The Bible in Jewish Life?

The Hindu Instance

The Buddhist Instance

The Classics: Chinese and Western

Brief Further Considerations

Conclusion: Scripture and the Human Condition




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