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And Never Said a Word
Heinrich Boll
Northwestern University Press, 1994
"First published in 1953, And Never Said a Word is one of Heinrich Böll's richest works, a novel that explores marriage with depth and compassion. Böll evokes an entire emotional world in the space of a day and a half as a husband and wife alternately relate a story of love and isolation, poverty and injustice. Weakness, as well as strength, provides the subtle emotional threads that form the bonds of their love; and they discover married life takes a far greater toll on those who love than on those whose hearts are empty. ""Böll is a master storyteller."" --New York Times ""Böll has a talent with fiction that is not hindered by translation--a low-key grace of style and a depth of human understanding."" --Publishers' Weekly"

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Word, Image, History
Mandy Bloomfield
University of Alabama Press, 2016
Explores poetry as historical investigation, examining works by five contemporary poets whose creations represent new, materially emphatic methods of engaging with the past and producing new kinds of historical knowledge

Archaeopoetics explores “archaeological poetry,” ground-breaking and experimental writing by innovative poets whose work opens up broad new avenues by which contemporary readers may approach the past, illuminating the dense web of interconnections often lost in traditional historiography.

Critic Mandy Bloomfield traces the emergence of a significant historicist orientation in recent poetry, exemplified by the work of five writers: American poet Susan Howe, Korean-American artist Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, British poet Maggie O’Sullivan, and diasporic African Caribbean writers Kamau Brathwaite and M. NourbeSe Philip. Bloomfield sets the work of these five authors within a vigorous tradition, including earlier work by Ezra Pound and Walter Benjamin, and then shows how these five poets create poems that engender new encounters with pivotal episodes in history, such as the English regicide or Korea’s traumatized twentieth century.

Exploring our shared but imperfectly understood history as well as omissions and blind spots in historiography, Bloomfield outlines the tension between the irretrievability of effaced historical evidence and the hope that poetry may reconstitute such unrecoverable histories. She posits that this tension is fertile, engendering a form of aesthetically enacted epistemological enquiry.

Fascinating and seminal, Archaeopoetics pays special attention to the sensuous materiality of texts and most especially to the visual manifestations of poetry. The poems in this volume employ the visual imagery of the word itself or incorporate imagery into the poetry to propose persuasive alternatives to narrative or discursive frameworks of historical knowledge.

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Art, Word and Image
2,000 Years of Visual/Textual Interaction
John Dixon Hunt, David Lomas, and Michael Corris
Reaktion Books, 2010
What does it mean to say that a painting has been “invaded” by language? Art, Word and Image answers this question by exploring how visual images and writing can work in dialogue in an artwork. Whether the picture frame is encroached upon by doodlings, as with Adolf Wolfli’s seemingly irrational scribbles, or a plea to spirituality is blazoned across a vast canvas, as in the moving images of Colin McCahon, we can be sure that words here have a special meaning, one beyond everyday communication.
Art, Word and Image, one of the first books to examine the use of language in art, is constructed around three major chronological essays by renowned scholars John Dixon Hunt, David Lomas, and Michael Corris. Their essays chart the use and significance of words in art—from Classical Greece through the Middle Ages and Renaissance to modern digital media.

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Avatars of the Word
From Papyrus to Cyberspace
James J. O'Donnell
Harvard University Press, 1998

The written word has been a central bearer of culture since antiquity. But its position is now being challenged by the powerful media of electronic communication. In this penetrating and witty book James O'Donnell takes a reading on the promise and the threat of electronic technology for our literate future.

In Avatars of the Word O'Donnell reinterprets today's communication revolution through a series of refracted comparisons with earlier revolutionary periods: the transition from oral to written culture, from the papyrus scroll to the codex, from copied manuscript to print. His engaging portrayals of these analogous epochal moments suggest that our steps into cyberspace are not as radical as we might think. Observing how technologies of the word have affected the shaping of culture in the past, and how technological transformation has been managed, we regain models that can help us navigate the electronic transformation now underway. Concluding with a focus on the need to rethink the modern university, O'Donnell specifically addresses learning and teaching in the humanities, proposing ways to seek the greatest benefit from electronic technologies while steering clear of their potential pitfalls.


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Carrying the Word
The Concheros Dance in Mexico City
Susanna Rostas
University Press of Colorado, 2009
In Carrying the Word: The Concheros Dance in Mexico City, the first full length study of the Concheros dancers, Susanna Rostas explores the experience of this unique group, whose use of dance links rural religious practices with urban post-modern innovation in distinctive ways even within Mexican culture, which is rife with ritual dances.

The Concheros blend Catholic and indigenous traditions in their performances, but are not governed by a predetermined set of beliefs; rather they are bound together by long standing interpersonal connections framed by the discipline of their tradition. The Concheros manifest their spirituality by means of the dance. Rostas traces how they construct their identity and beliefs, both individual and communal, by its means. The book offers new insights into the experience of dancing as a Conchero while also exploring their history, organization and practices.

Carrying the Word provides a new way for audiences to understand the Conchero's dance tradition, and will be of interest to students and scholars of contemporary Mesoamerica. Those studying identity, religion, and tradition will find this social-anthropological work particularly enlightening.


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The Politics of a Word in America
Matthew Bowman
Harvard University Press, 2020

A Publishers Weekly Best Religion Book of the Year
A Choice Outstanding Academic Title

For many Americans, being Christian is central to their political outlook. Political Christianity is most often associated with the Religious Right, but the Christian faith has actually been a source of deep disagreement about what American society and government should look like. While some identify Christianity with Western civilization and unfettered individualism, others have maintained that Christian principles call for racial equality, international cooperation, and social justice. At once incisive and timely, Christian delves into the intersection of faith and political identity and offers an essential reconsideration of what it means to be Christian in America today.

“Bowman is fast establishing a reputation as a significant commentator on the culture and politics of the United States.”
Church Times

“Bowman looks to tease out how religious groups in American history have defined, used, and even wielded the word Christian as a means of understanding themselves and pressing for their own idiosyncratic visions of genuine faith and healthy democracy.”
Christian Century

“A fascinating examination of the twists and turns in American Christianity, showing that the current state of political/religious alignment was not necessarily inevitable, nor even probable.”
Deseret News


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Communicating the Word
Revelation, Translation, and Interpretation in Christianity and Islam
David Marshall, Editor. Afterword by Archbishop Rowan Williams
Georgetown University Press, 2015

Communicating the Word is a record of the 2008 Building Bridges seminar, an annual dialogue between leading Christian and Muslim scholars convened by the Archbishop of Canterbury. Featuring the insights of internationally known Christian and Muslim scholars, the essays collected here focus attention on key scriptural texts but also engage with both classical and contemporary Islamic and Christian thought. Issues addressed include, among others, the different ways in which Christians and Muslims think of their scriptures as the “Word of God,” the possibilities and challenges of translating scripture, and the methods—and conflicts—involved in interpreting scripture in the past and today.

In his concluding reflections, Archbishop Rowan Williams draws attention to a fundamental point emerging from these fascinating contributions: “Islam and Christianity alike give a high valuation to the conviction that God speaks to us. Grasping what that does and does not mean . . . is challenging theological work.”


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Difficult Rhythm
Music and the Word in E.M. Forster
Michelle Fillion
University of Illinois Press, 2013
Difficult Rhythm examines E. M. Forster's irrepressible interest in music, providing plentiful examples of how the eminent British author's fiction resonates with music. Musicologist Michelle Fillion analyzes his critical writings, short stories, and novels, including A Room with a View, which alludes to Beethoven, Wagner, and Schumann, and Howards End, which explicitly alerts readers how fiction can adopt musical forms and ideas. This volume also includes, for the first time in print, Forster's notes on Beethoven's piano sonatas. Documenting his knowledge of music, his musical favorites and friends, and his attitudes toward various composers, performances, and competing musical theories, this engaging book traces the musical influences of luminaries such as Wagner, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, and Britten on Forster's life and work.

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"Doers of the Word"
African-American Women Speakers and Writers in the North (1830-1880)
Peterson, Carla L
Rutgers University Press, 1998
Adapting a verse from the Epistle of James —"doers of the word"— nineteenth-century black women activists Sojourner Truth, Jarena Lee, and Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, among others, travelled throughout the Northeastern, Mid-Atlantic, and Midwestern regions of the United States. They preached, lectured, and wrote on issues of religious evangelicism, abolition, racial uplift, moral reform, temperance, and women's rights, thereby defining themselves as public intellectuals. 

In situating these women within the emerging African-American urban communities of the free North, Doers of the Word provides an important counterweight to the vast scholarship on Southern slavery and argues that black "Civil Rights movements" cannot be seen as a purely modern phenomenon. In particular, the book examines the ways in which this Northern black population, despite its heterogeneity, came together and established social organizations that would facilitate community empowerment; yet Peterson's analysis also acknowledges, and seeks to explain, the highly complex relationship of black women to these institutions, a relationship that rendered their stance as public intellectuals all the more bold and defiant.

Peterson begins her study in the 1830s, when a substantial body of oratory and writing by black women first emerged, and traces the development of this writing through the shifting political climate up to the end of Reconstruction. She builds her analyses upon Foucault's interdisciplinary model of discourse with an explicitly feminist approach, drawing upon sermons, spiritual autobiographies, travel and slave narratives, journalism, essays, poetry, speeches, and fiction. From these, Peterson is able to answer several key questions. First, what empowered these women to act, to speak out, and to write? Why, and in what ways, were they marginalized within both the African-American and larger American communities? Where did they act, speak, and write from?

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Dog Ghosts and The Word on the Brazos
Negro Preacher Tales from the Brazos Bottoms of Texas
By J. Mason Brewer
University of Texas Press, 1976

This book contains two volumes of African American folk tales collected by J. Mason Brewer.

The stories included in Dog Ghosts are as varied as the Texas landscape, as full of contrasts as Texas weather. Among them are tales that have their roots deeply imbedded in African, Irish, and Welsh mythology; others have parallels in pre-Columbian Mexican tradition, and a few have versions that can be traced back to Chaucer's England. All make delightful reading. The title Dog Ghosts is drawn from the unique stories of dog spirits which Dr. Brewer collected in the Red River bottoms and elsewhere in Texas.

The Word on the Brazos is a delightful collection of "preacher tales" from the Brazos River bottom in Texas. J. Mason Brewer worked side by side with field hands in the Brazos bottoms; he lived in their homes, worshipped in their churches, and shared the moments of relaxation in which laughter held full sway.

Many of the tales these people told were related to religion—both "good religion" and "bad religion." Some of them concerned preachers and their families, while others were stories told in pulpits. Mr. Brewer has set all of these stories down in authentic yet easily readable dialect. They will delight all who are interested in the historic culture of rural African-American Texans, as well as those who simply enjoy fine humorous stories skillfully told.


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Doing the Word
Southern Baptists' Carver School of Church Social Work and Its Predecessors, 1907–1997
T. Laine Scales
University of Tennessee Press, 2019
In the pantheon of publications related to women’s educational history, there is little research concerning women’s education in the context of the Baptist church. In Doing the Word: Southern Baptists’ Carver School of Church Social Work and Its Predecessors, 1907–1997, T. Laine Scales and Melody Maxwell provide a complete history of this unique institution. By exploring the dynamic evolution of women’s education through the lens of the women’s training program for missions and social work at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, the authors show how the institution both expanded women’s education and leadership and also came into tension with changes in the Southern Baptist Convention, ultimately resulting in its closing in 1997. A touchstone for women’s studies and church history alike, Doing the Word reopens a lost chapter in the evolution of women’s leadership during the twentieth century—a tumultuous period in which the Carver School, under significant pressure to reverse course, sought to expand the roles of women in leading the church.

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Drawn to the Word
The Bible and Graphic Design
Amanda Dillon
SBL Press, 2021

A unique study of lectionaries and graphic design as a site of biblical reception

How artists portrayed the Bible in large canvas paintings is frequently the subject of scholarly exploration, yet the presentation of biblical texts in contemporary graphic designs has been largely ignored. In this book Amanda Dillon engages multimodal analysis, a method of semiotic discourse, to explore how visual composition, texture, color, directionality, framing, angle, representations, and interactions produce potential meanings for biblical graphic designs. Dillon focuses on the artworks of two American graphic designers—the woodcuts designed by Meinrad Craighead for the Roman Catholic Sunday Missal and Nicholas Markell’s illustrations for the worship books of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America—to present the merits of multimodal analysis for biblical reception history.


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The History of a Word
Daniel B. Schwartz
Harvard University Press, 2019

Just as European Jews were being emancipated and ghettos in their original form—compulsory, enclosed spaces designed to segregate—were being dismantled, use of the word ghetto surged in Europe and spread around the globe. Tracing the curious path of this loaded word from its first use in sixteenth-century Venice to the present turns out to be more than an adventure in linguistics.

Few words are as ideologically charged as ghetto. Its early uses centered on two cities: Venice, where it referred to the segregation of the Jews in 1516, and Rome, where the ghetto survived until the fall of the Papal States in 1870, long after it had ceased to exist elsewhere.

Ghetto: The History of a Word offers a fascinating account of the changing nuances of this slippery term, from its coinage to the present day. It details how the ghetto emerged as an ambivalent metaphor for “premodern” Judaism in the nineteenth century and how it was later revived to refer to everything from densely populated Jewish immigrant enclaves in modern cities to the hypersegregated holding pens of Nazi-occupied Eastern Europe. We see how this ever-evolving word traveled across the Atlantic Ocean, settled into New York’s Lower East Side and Chicago’s Near West Side, then came to be more closely associated with African Americans than with Jews.

Chronicling this sinuous transatlantic odyssey, Daniel B. Schwartz reveals how the history of ghettos is tied up with the struggle and argument over the meaning of a word. Paradoxically, the term ghetto came to loom larger in discourse about Jews when Jews were no longer required to live in legal ghettos. At a time when the Jewish associations have been largely eclipsed, Ghetto retrieves the history of a disturbingly resilient word.


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The Good European
Nietzsche's Work Sites in Word and Image
David Farrell Krell and Donald L. Bates
University of Chicago Press, 1997
Through photographs and translations of Friedrich Nietzsche's evocative writings on his work sites, David Farrell Krell and Donald L. Bates explore the cities and landscapes in which Nietzsche lived and worked.

"A brilliant juxtaposition of life and thought. . . . The sympathy of this pictorial biography is rivaled by few books on Nietzsche."—Charles M. Stang, Boston Book Review

"[A] distinguished addition to the Nietzsche-friendly corpus."—Alain de Botton, Los Angeles Times Book Review

"An odd and oddly endearing record of Nietzsche's travels."—John Banville, New York Review of Books


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Image and Word
The Interaction of Twentieth-Century Photographs and Texts
Jefferson Hunter
Harvard University Press, 1987

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In the School of the Word
Biblical Interpretation from the New to the Old Testament
Carlos Granados
Saint Paul Seminary Press, 2021
Carlos Granados and Luis Sánchez-Navarro propose reading the Bible with Christian faith, not as one approach among many, but as a disposition demanded by the New Testament for proper interpretation of both the Old and the New. Even so, the authors’ faith never leads them to dismiss history or to discard the tools of the historical-critical method. On the contrary, these sciences allow the faithful reader to take a holistic approach to biblical truth. When the reader also takes full account of the ecclesial reality in which the Bible was formed and transmitted, and in which it must be read still today, he or she encounters the word proclaimed by the text. Indeed, the words of Holy Writ ultimately proclaim the Word (Logos), Jesus Christ, in whose Spirit they were written. This book’s thirteen essays are grouped into three parts. Part I, “The Church, Living Subject of Sacred Scripture,” takes up a foundational theme of the whole book: sacred Scripture calls for a reading within the community of the People of God under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and the same People constitute the living subject of Scripture. In Part II, “Christ, Exegete of the Fulfillment,” the authors focus on the relationship between the two biblical testaments. They argue that the Christian can both respect and venerate the Old Testament on its own terms, even as they find in Jesus, as presented in the New Testament and encountered in faith, the key for unlocking the Old Testament’s deepest meaning. The third and final part of this book, “The Teaching in Benedict XVI’s Verbum Domini,” examines Pope Benedict XVI’s 2010 post-synodal apostolic exhortation on the word of God in the life and mission of the Church. The authors’ years of shared prayer, study, conversation, and ministry have led to this coauthored book bearing witness to that ongoing unity that they live as confreres. Not surprisingly, they frequently reference the same theologians, especially Brevard Childs, Paul Beauchamp, SJ, and Pope Benedict XVI.

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Kerouac, the Word and the Way
Prose Artist as Spiritual Quester
Ben Giamo
Southern Illinois University Press, 2000
Jack Kerouac, a "ragged priest of the word" according to Ben Giamo, embarked on a spiritual quest "for the ultimate meaning of existence and suffering, and the celebration of joy in the meantime." For Kerouac, the quest was a sustained and creative experiment in literary form. Intuitive and innovative, Kerouac created prose styles that reflected his search for personal meaning and spiritual intensity. These styles varied from an exuberant brand of conventional narrative (On the Road, The Dharma Bums, and Desolation Angels) to spontaneous bop prosody (Visions of Cody.Doctor Sax, and The Subterraneans). Giamo’s primary purpose is to chronicle and clarify Kerouac’s various spiritual quests through close examinations of the novels. Kerouac began his quest with On the Road, which also is Giamo’s real starting point. To establish early themes, spiritual struggles, and stylistic shifts, however, Giamo begins with the first novel, Town and Country, and ends with Big Sur, the final turning point in Kerouac’s quest.

Kerouac was primarily a religious writer bent on testing and celebrating the profane depths and transcendent heights of experience and reporting both truly. Baptized and buried a Catholic, he was also heavily influenced by Buddhism, especially from 1954 until 1957 when he integrated traditional Eastern belief into several novels. Catholicism remained an essential force in his writing, but his study of Buddhism was serious and not solely in the service of his literary art. As he wrote to Malcolm Cowley in 1954, "Since I saw you I took up the study of Buddhism and for me it’s the word and the way I was looking for."

Giamo also seeks IT—"a vital force in the experience of living that takes one by surprise, suspending for the moment belief in the ‘real’ concrete grey everyday of facts of self and selfhood . . . its various meanings, paths, and oscillations: from romantic lyricism to ‘the ragged and ecstatic joy of pure being and from the void-pit of the Great World Snake to the joyous pain of amorous love, and, finally, from Catholic/Buddhist serenity to the onset of penitential martyrhood."


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Leonardo’s Paradox
Word and Image in the Making of Renaissance Culture
Joost Keizer
Reaktion Books, 2019
Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519) was one of the preeminent figures of the Italian Renaissance. He was also one of the most paradoxical. He spent an incredible amount of time writing notebooks, perhaps even more time than he ever held a brush, yet at the same time Leonardo was Renaissance culture’s most fanatical critic of the word. When Leonardo criticized writing he criticized it as an expert on words; when he was painting, writing remained in the back of his brilliant mind.

In this book, Joost Keizer argues that the comparison between word and image fueled Leonardo’s thought. The paradoxes at the heart of Leonardo’s ideas and practice also defined some of Renaissance culture’s central assumptions about culture and nature: that there is a look to script, that painting offered a path out of culture and back to nature, that the meaning of images emerged in comparison with words, and that the difference between image-making and writing also amounted to a difference in the experience of time.

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Lost in the Shadow of the Word
Space, Time, and Freedom in Interwar Eastern Europe
Benjamin Paloff
Northwestern University Press, 2016
2018 AATSEEL Prize for Best Book in Literary Scholarship

Scholars of modernism have long addressed how literature, painting, and music reflected the radical reconceptualization of space and time in the early twentieth century—a veritable revolution in both physics and philosophy that has been characterized as precipitating an “epistemic trauma” around the world. In this wide-ranging study, Benjamin Paloff contends that writers in Central and Eastern Europe felt this impact quite distinctly from their counterparts in Western Europe. For the latter, the destabilization of traditional notions of space and time inspired works that saw in it a new kind of freedom. However, for many Central and Eastern European authors, who were writing from within public discourses about how to construct new social realities, the need for escape met the realization that there was both nowhere to escape to and no stable delineation of what to escape from. In reading the prose and poetry of Czech, Polish, and Russian writers, Paloff imbues the term “Kafkaesque” with a complexity so far missing from our understanding of this moment in literary history.

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Mutha Is Half a Word
Intersections of Folklore, Vernacular, Myth, and Queerness in Black Female Culture
L. H. Stallings
The Ohio State University Press, 2007
Mutha’ is Half a Word: Intersections of Folklore, Vernacular, Myth, and Queerness in Black Female Culture explores the importance of sexual desire in the formation of radical Black females’ subjectivities in Black women’s culture through the trope of the indefinable trickster figure.  L. H. Stallings offers distinct close readings of understudied African American women’s texts through a critical engagement with folklore and queer theory. To date, most studies on the trickster figure have rarely reflected the boldness and daring of the figure itself. Emblematic of change and transgression, the trickster has inappropriately become the methodological tool for conservative cultural studies analysis. Mutha’ is Half a Word strives to break that convention.
This book provides a much-needed analysis of trickster tradition in regard to gender, sexuality, and Black female sexual desire. It is the only study to focus specifically on trickster figures and African American female culture. In addition, it contributes to conversations regarding the cultural representation of Black female desire in ways that are not strategically invested in heteronormative binaries of male/female and heterosexual/homosexual. The study is distinctly different because it explores folklore, vernacular, and trickster strategies of queerness alongside theories of queer studies to create new readings of desire in literary texts, hip-hop and neo-soul music, and comedic performances by Black females.

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The People and the Word
Reading Native Nonfiction
Robert Warrior
University of Minnesota Press, 2005
Much literary scholarship has been devoted to the flowering of Native American fiction and poetry in the mid-twentieth century. Yet, Robert Warrior argues, nonfiction has been the primary form used by American Indians in developing a relationship with the written word, one that reaches back much further in Native history and culture. 

Focusing on autobiographical writings and critical essays, as well as communally authored and political documents, The People and the Word explores how the Native tradition of nonfiction has both encompassed and dissected Native experiences. Warrior begins by tracing a history of American Indian writing from the eighteenth century to the late twentieth century, then considers four particular moments: Pequot intellectual William Apess’s autobiographical writings from the 1820s and 1830s; the Osage Constitution of 1881; narratives from American Indian student experiences, including accounts of boarding school in the late 1880s; and modern Kiowa writer N. Scott Momaday’s essay “The Man Made of Words,” penned during the politically charged 1970s. Warrior’s discussion of Apess’s work looks unflinchingly at his unconventional life and death; he recognizes resistance to assimilation in the products of the student print shop at the Santee Normal Training School; and in the Osage Constitution, as well as in Momaday’s writing, Warrior sees reflections of their turbulent times as well as guidance for our own. 

Taking a cue from Momaday’s essay, which gives voice to an imaginary female ancestor, Ko-Sahn, Warrior applies both critical skills and literary imagination to the texts. In doing so, The People and the Word provides a rich foundation for Native intellectuals’ critical work, deeply entwined with their unique experiences. 

Robert Warrior is professor of English and Native American studies at the University of Oklahoma. He is author of Tribal Secrets: Recovering American Indian Intellectual Traditions (Minnesota, 1994) and coauthor, with Paul Chaat Smith, of Like a Hurricane: The Indian Movement from Alcatraz to Wounded Knee.

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Peregrinations of the Word
Louis Mackey
University of Michigan Press, 1997
One of the besetting problems of the present age is the conflict between criticism and commitment. Those who hold strong convictions fear that rational criticism may corrode the moral and religious foundations of society. Advocates of rational critique tend to perceive people with strong convictions as fanatics. The Middles Ages was likewise a time when people were both deeply committed and relentlessly rational. In Peregrinations of the Word, Louis Mackey examines the way important medieval thinkers dealt with the relation of faith and reason, in the hope that their example may assist contemporary society in harmonizing belief and critical vigilance.
Peregrinations of the Word consists of essays on five medieval philosophers: Augustine, Anselm, Aquinas, Bonaventure, and Duns Scotus. An essay on the tension between autobiography and theology in Augustine's Confessions is followed by a commentary on the dialogue of faith and reason in his On the Teacher. A third essay shows how Anselm's Proslogion both constructs and deconstructs the ontological proof of God's existence. There is a discussion of Bonaventure's staging of the opposition between Aristotle and the scriptures in terms of the respective languages. Finally there is an examination of the ways Duns Scotus's distinctive positions on the Incarnation, the Immaculate Conception, and the Eucharist shape his philosophical views.
Though each of these essays is an independent study, they have as a common theme the relation between faith and reason as understood in the Middle Ages; e.g., the conflict between the hermeneutic of reason and that of revelation in the construction of self; the dialectic of philosophical demonstration and devotional submission required of all discourse about God; and the resources available to medieval theology for resolving the conflict of nominalism and realism. Mackey maintains that medieval philosophy can only be understood in its theological and scriptural milieu. He has argued this point by showing how that milieu enabled these five thinkers to deal with a variety of philosophical issues. He concludes persuasively that religious beliefs and exegetical concerns did not shackle the medieval mind but rather liberated it and empowered it.
Louis Mackey is Professor of Philosophy, University of Texas at Austin.

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Performing The Word
African American Poetry As Vernacular Culture
Brown, Fahamisha Patricia
Rutgers University Press, 1999
Performing the Word offers readers of African American poetry a way of understanding and appreciating body of work that has received little critical attention. While African American literary tradition begins with eighteenth-century poets like Lucy Terry, Jupiter Hammon, and Phillis Wheatley, critical discussions of African American Poetry have been sparse. Aside from a few studies of "major" poets, such as Langston Hughes, Gwendolyn Brooks, Robert Hayden, Rita Dove, or period histories of phenomena such as the Harlem Renaissance, there has been little sustained critical inquiry into African American poetry as a body of literature- until now.

Fahamista Patricia Brown examines elements of African American expressive culture- its language practices, both fold and popular. Her book is an excellent introduction to a diverse group of poets and the common basis of their work in language practices and performativity, in the expressive culture of a people. Performing the Word is an important contribution to the understanding of African American culture and American poetry as a whole.

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A Journal of Word, Image, and Sound, No. 6
Sherah Bloor
Harvard University Press, 2024
Peripheries, No. 6, spans the senses with music, choreography, painting, sculpture, archival material, short stories, and poetry by Victoria Chang, Angie Estes, Aracelis Girmay, Joanna Klink, Alice Oswald, Rowan Ricardo Philips, Tracy K. Smith, and many more. The journal also includes a special folio, “Anti-Letters,” which comprises the “personal” writings—ephemera, letters, lists, notes, recordings, etc.—of poets such as Cody-Rose Clevidence, Jill Magi, and Jane Miller, among others. The issue also features a review by Tawanda Mulalu, creative nonfiction from Jackie Wang, a mixed media collaboration between Sharon Olds and Sam Messer, a David Grubbs composition with an accompaniment by Susan Howe, and an excerpt from a book-length poem by Geoffrey Nutter.

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Pictorial Victorians
The Inscription of Values in Word and Image
Julia Thomas
Ohio University Press, 2005

The Victorians were image obsessed. The middle decades of the nineteenth century saw an unprecedented growth in the picture industry. Technological advances enabled the Victorians to adorn with images the pages of their books and the walls of their homes. But this was not a wholly visual culture. Pictorial Victorians focuses on two of the most popular mid-nineteenth-century genres—illustration and narrative painting—that blurred the line between the visual and textual.

Illustration negotiated text and image on the printed page, while narrative painting juxtaposed the two media in its formulation of pictorial stories. Author Julia Thomas reassesses mid-nineteenth-century values in the light of this interplay. The dialogue between word and image generates meanings that are intimately related to the Victorians' image of themselves. Illustrations in Victorian publications and the narrative scenes that lined the walls of the Royal Academy reveal the Victorians' ideas about the world in which they lived and their notions of gender, class, and race.

Pictorial Victorians surveys a range of material, from representations of the crinoline, to the illustrations that accompanied Harriet Beecher Stowe’s novel Uncle Tom's Cabin and Tennyson's poetry, to paintings of adultery. It demonstrates that the space between text and image is one in which values are both constructed and questioned.


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Pictures of the Heart
The Hyakunin Isshu in Word and Image
Joshua S. Mostow
University of Michigan Press, 2015
The Hyakunin Isshu, or One Hundred Poets, One Poem Each collection, is a sequence of one hundred Japanese poems in the tanka form, selected by the famous poet and scholar Fujiwara no Teika (1162-1241) and arranged, in part, to represent the history of Japanese poetry from the seventh century down to Teika's own day. The anthology is, without doubt, the most popular and widely known collection of poetry in Japan - a distinction it has maintained for hundreds of years. In this study, Joshua Mostow challenges the idea of a final or authoritative reading of the Hyakunin Isshu and presents a refreshing, persuasive case for a reception history of this seminal work.
In addition to providing a new translation of this classic text and biographical information on each poet, Mostow examines issues relating to text and image that are central to the Japanese arts from the Heian into the early modern period. By using Edo-period woodblock illustrations as pictorializations of the poems - as "pictures of the heart," or meaning, of the poems - text and image are pieced together in a holistic approach that will stand as a model for further research in the interrelationship between Japanese visual and verbal art. [A/GB]

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The Political Power of the Word
Press and Oratory in Nineteenth-century Latin America
Edited by Ivan Jaksic
University of London Press, 2002

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The Power of Patristic Preaching
The Word in Our Flesh
Andrew Hofer, OP
Catholic University of America Press, 2023
The Word made flesh is manifested in the lives of those dedicated to his proclamation. The Power of Patristic Preaching: The Word in Our Flesh presents seven early preachers who show, by life and speech, the divine Word’s power at work in weak human life. The book is inspired by this question preached by Origen, “For what does it profit if I should say that Jesus has come in that flesh alone which he received from Mary and I should not show also that he has come in this flesh of mine?” In seven chapters, The Power of Patristic Preaching studies the exemplars of Origen for holiness, Ephrem for the humility of repentance, Gregory of Nazianzus for purification and faith, John Chrysostom for the hope of salvation, Augustine for love, Leo the Great for love of the poor and the weak, and Gregory the Great for accepting our own weakness.  With an emphasis on the incarnation, deification through the virtues, and proclamation, The Power of Patristic Preaching serves as a resource for those dedicated to the ministry of the Word (clerical, religious, and lay), and as a text for students of early Christian theology and practices. A Catholic work for a broad ecumenical audience, the book gives a cry from the heart in a suffering Church traveling through a world that is passing away.

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Prophesying Daughters
Black Women Preachers and the Word, 1823-1913
Chanta M. Haywood
University of Missouri Press, 2003

In nineteenth-century America, many black women left their homes, their husbands, and their children to spread the Word of God. Descendants of slaves or former “slave girls” themselves, they traveled all over the country, even abroad, preaching to audiences composed of various races, denominations, sexes, and classes, offering their own interpretations of the Bible. When they were denied the pulpit because of their sex, they preached in tents, bush clearings, meeting halls, private homes, and other spaces. They dealt with domestic ideologies that positioned them as subservient in the home, and with racist ideologies that positioned them as naturally inferior to whites. They also faced legalities restricting blacks socially and physically and the socioeconomic reality of often being part of a large body of unskilled laborers.

Jarena Lee, Julia Foote, Maria Stewart, and Frances Gaudet were four women preachers who endured such hardships because of their religious convictions. Often quoting from the scripture, they insisted that they were indeed prophesying daughters whom God called upon to preach. Significantly, many of these women preachers wrote autobiographies in which they present images of assertive, progressive, pious women—steadfast and unmovable in their religious beliefs and bold in voicing their concerns about the moral standing of their race and society at large.

Chanta M. Haywood examines these autobiographies to provide new insight into the nature of prophesying, offering an alternative approach to literature with strong religious imagery. She analyzes how these four women employed rhetorical and political devices in their narratives, using religious discourse to deconstruct race, class, and gender issues of the nineteenth century.

By exploring how religious beliefs become an avenue for creating alternative ideologies, Prophesying Daughters will appeal to students and scholars of African American literature, women’s studies, and religious studies.


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Radium of the Word
A Poetics of Materiality
Craig Dworkin
University of Chicago Press, 2020
With fresh insight and contemporary relevance, Radium of the Word argues that a study of the form of language yields meanings otherwise inaccessible through ordinary reading strategies. Attending to the forms of words rather than to their denotations, Craig Dworkin traces hidden networks across the surface of texts, examining how typography, and even individual letters and marks of punctuation, can reveal patterns that are significant without being symbolic—fully meaningful without communicating any preordained message.

Radium of the Word takes its title from Mina Loy’s poem for Gertrude Stein, which hails her as the Madame “Curie / of the laboratory / of vocabulary.” In this spirit, Dworkin considers prose as a dynamic literary form, characterized by experimentation. Dworkin draws on examples from writers as diverse as Lyn Hejinian, William Faulkner, and Joseph Roth. He takes up the status of the proper name in Modernism, with examples from Stein, Loy, and Guillaume Apollinaire, and he offers in-depth analyses of individual authors from the counter-canon of the avant-garde, including P. Inman, Russell Atkins, N. H. Pritchard, and Andy Warhol. The result is an inspiring intervention in contemporary poetics.

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Revising the Word and the World
Essays in Feminist Literary Criticism
Edited by Vèvè A. Clark, Ruth-Ellen Boetcher Joeres, and Madelon Sprengnether
University of Chicago Press, 1993
That literature is a form of social action has been an implicit assumption of feminist literary criticism since its emergence in academia some twenty-five years ago. This assumption has served not only to heighten the awareness of gender construction and response in literature, but also to redefine the process and goals of literary criticism itself.

Three powerful interviews with writers of different nationalities (Audre Lorde, Simone de Beauvoir, and Carmen Naranjo) introduce topics echoed in the essays that follow: the interplay between women's writing and feminist theory, the politics of writing, and the roles of race, class, and sexual orientation in artistic production. These issues are engaged on a theoretical level by three essays that represent today's most prominent areas of concern for feminist literary criticism. The theoretical perspectives advanced in this anthology provide models for reading the traditional expressions of women worldwide including oratory and performance as well as literature in the more conventional sense.

Contributors include Jane Flax on "Postmodernism and Gender Relations in Feminist Theory," Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham on "African-American Women's History and the Metalanguage of Race," Paula Bennett on "Female Sexual Imagery and Feminist Psychoanalytic Theory," Leslie Rabine on "Social Gender and Symbolic Gender in the Writings of Maxine Hong Kingston," Joyce Zonana on "Feminist Orientalism and the Structure of Jane Eyre," Jane Desmond on "Cultural Imperialism and Ruth St. Denis's 'Radha' of 1906," Terri Brint Joseph on "Poetry as a Strategy of Power: The Case of Riffian Berber Women," Chikwenye Ogunyemi on "The Contemporary Black Female Novel in English," and Sandra Zagarell on "Narrative of Community."

This collection is especially appropriate for scholars and students of feminist literary criticism, women's studies, English, and ethnic studies.

Essays were originally published in Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society.

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Russian Performances
Word, Object, Action
Edited by Julie A. Buckler, Julie A. Cassiday, and Boris Wolfson
University of Wisconsin Press, 2018
Throughout its modern history, Russia has seen a succession of highly performative social acts that play out prominently in the public sphere. This innovative volume brings the fields of performance studies and Russian studies into dialog for the first time and shows that performance is a vital means for understanding Russia's culture from the reign of Peter the Great to the era of Putin. These twenty-seven essays encompass a diverse range of topics, from dance and classical music to live poetry and from viral video to public jubilees and political protest. As a whole they comprise an integrated, compelling intervention in Russian studies.

Challenging the primacy of the written word in this field, the volume fosters a larger intellectual community informed by theories and practices of performance from anthropology, art history, dance studies, film studies, cultural and social history, literary studies, musicology, political science, theater studies, and sociology.

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Spanish American Women's Use of the Word
Colonial through Contemporary Narratives
Stacey Schlau
University of Arizona Press, 2001
Women's participation, both formal and informal, in the creation of what we now call Spanish America is reflected in its literary legacy. Stacey Schlau examines what women from a wide spectrum of classes and races have to say about the societies in which they lived and their place in them. Schlau has written the first book to study a historical selection of Spanish American women's writings with an emphasis on social and political themes. Through their words, she offers an alternative vision of the development of narrative genres—critical, fictional, and testimonial—from colonial times to the present. The authors considered here represent the chronological yet nonlinear development of women's narrative. They include Teresa Romero Zapata, accused before the Inquisition of being a false visionary; Inés Suárez, nun and writer of spiritual autobiography; Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda, author of an indigenist historical romance; Magda Portal, whose biography of Flora Tristán furthered her own political agenda; Dora Alonso, who wrote revolutionary children's books; Domitila Barrios de Chungara, political leader and organizer; Elvira Orphée, whose novel unpacks the psychology of the torturer; and several others who address social and political struggles that continue to the present day. Although the writers treated here may seem to have little in common, all sought to maneuver through institutions and systems and insert themselves into public life by using the written word, often through the appropriation and modification of mainstream genres. In examining how these authors stretched the boundaries of genre to create a multiplicity of hybrid forms, Schlau reveals points of convergence in the narrative tradition of challenging established political and social structures. Outlining the shape of this literary tradition, she introduces us to a host of neglected voices, as well as examining better-known ones, who demonstrate that for women, simply writing can be a political act.

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Spreading the Word
Poetry and the Survival of Community in America
Ross Talarico
Duke University Press, 1995
In 1985 poet Ross Talarico began a grassroots program in creative expression in Rochester, New York. As the program came together, so did the community—young and old, poor and privileged, even those who could not read or write but wanted to tell their stories. This book is a testimony to the poetry that experience produced. An exhilarating account of a successful experiment in promoting community self-expression, Spreading the Word interweaves the participants’ stories with Talarico’s own life, his struggle as a poet, and the drama of his workshops. The book will be both a resource and an inspiration for teachers of writing, writers, and those who simply wish to learn to write.
Drawing on his workshops in Rochester, Talarico describes a unique approach for eliciting poetry from people of many ages and backgrounds—particularly underpriviledged urban kids and the elderly. The process—from dialogue to self-expression to publication to public event—illuminates the urgency and meaning of releasing the spirit captured in each man and woman and child’s experience. "Some people say that Ross Talarico has done the impossible," the Today Show remarked of his success in Rochester; and with this book Talarico offers the same opportunity to others. Teachers, community leaders, parents, and children will be able to follow his practical, hands-on approach to encouraging self-expression in diverse, even unlikely, settings. They will see here how poetry is indeed relevant, ever more crucial to our identity as the culture evolves—how it is, finally, the place where the inarticulate can come to speak for themselves.

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Word and Phantasm in Western Culture
Georgio Agamben
University of Minnesota Press, 1992
Stanzas is a fascinating blend of philology, medieval physics and psychology, the psychoanalysis of toys, and contemporary linguistics and philosophy. In this unique work, Giorgio Agamben attempts to reconfigure the epistemological foundation of Western culture. He rereads Freud and Saussure to discover the impossibility of metalanguage and of synthesis that could be reflected in the transparency of signs. There is no "superior language" that can read the obscure scenes of the unconscious, and the "symbol" is always the return of the repressed in an improper signifier. This impossibility leads Agamben to the problem of representation. He argues that because language is the locus of the production and storage of phantasms, all real objects are fractured by phantasmic itineraries that in turn divide poetry and philosophy, joy and knowledge. Giorgio Agamben teaches philosophy at the Collège International de Philosophie in Paris and at the University of Macerata in Italy. He is the author of Language and Death (1991), The Coming Community (1993), and Means without End (2000).

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Tsvetaeva's Orphic Journeys in the Worlds of the Word
Olga Peters Hasty
Northwestern University Press, 1996

Tsvetaeva’s Orphic Journeys in the Worlds of the Word explores the rich theme of the myth of Orpheus as master narrative for poetic inspiration and creative survival in the life and work of Marina Tsvetaeva. Olga Peters Hasty establishes the basic themes of the Orphic Complex—the poet’s longing to mediate between the embodied physical world and an “elsewhere,” the poet’s inability to do so, the primacy of the voice over the visual world, the insistence on concrete imagery, the costs of the poet’s gift—and orders her arguments in the tragic shape of the Orpheus myth as it worked itself out organically in Tsvetaeva’s own life. Hasty delineates the connections between the Orpheus myth and other key mythological and literary figures in the poet’s life—including Alexander Blok, Anna Akhmatova, Alexander Pushkin, and Rainer Maria Rilke—to make an important and original critical contribution.


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Visionary of the Word
Melville and Religion
Edited by Jonathan A. Cook and Brian Yothers
Northwestern University Press, 2017
Visionary of the Word brings together the latest scholarship on Herman Melville’s treatment of religion across his long career as a writer of fiction and poetry. The volume suggests the broad range of Melville’s religious concerns, including his engagement with the denominational divisions of American Christianity, his dialogue with transatlantic currents in nineteenth-century religious thought, his consideration of theological and philosophical questions related to the problem of evil and determinism versus free will, and his representation of the global contact among differing faiths and cultures. These essays constitute a capacious response to the many avenues through which Melville interacted with religious faith, doubt, and secularization throughout his career, advancing our understanding of Melville as a visionary interpreter of religious experience who remains resonant in our own religiously complex era.

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W.G. Sebald's Artistic Legacies
Memory, Word and Image
Leonida Kovac
Amsterdam University Press, 2023
When the mind turns more than one would wish towards questions of – as W.G. Sebald puts it – the “natural history of destruction”, comparative consideration by artists and interdisciplinary scholars is directed to the interstices between images, novel, essay, (auto)biography, memorial and travelogue. Artists have been among Sebald’s most prolific interpreters – as they are among the more fearless and holistic researchers on questions concerning what it means never to be able to fix an identity, to tell a migrant’s story, or to know where a historical trauma ends. Sebald has - as this book attests - also given artists and scholars a means to write with images, to embrace ambiguity, and to turn to today’s migrants with empathy and responsibility; as well as to let academic research, creation and institutional engagement blend into or substantially inform one another in order to account for and enable such necessary work in the most diverse contexts.

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The Word and Its Witness
The Spiritualization of American Realism
Gregory S. Jackson
University of Chicago Press, 2009
“What would Jesus do?” is now a rhetorical fixture, but the phrase was first popularized in the nineteenth century’s best-selling novel In His Steps. Charles Sheldon’s book is part of the vast, but mostly overlooked, history of evangelical culture that began during the Great Awakening. In this groundbreaking study, Gregory S. Jackson reveals the full impact of this tradition by exploring the development of religious media in America.

Jackson shows how the homiletic tradition in Protestant sermons provided a foundation for the development of visual and literary realism. Evangelical preachers and writers used vivid language grounded in everyday life to translate abstract concepts like hell into concrete reality—a key influence on realist authors that brought about the more secular forms of the movement we know today. This emphasis on the sensuous also paved the way for Protestantism’s embrace of new media, evident in the photographs of Jacob Riis as well as the video game Left Behind: Eternal Forces.

With its remarkable scope and timely insights into the interplay between religion, secularism, and politics, The Word and Its Witness will transform the way we understand American realism and American religion.

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Word and Object in Husserl, Frege, and Russell
The Roots of Twentieth-Century Philosophy
Claire Oritz Hill
Ohio University Press, 2001

In search of the origins of some of the most fundamental problems that have beset philosophers in English-speaking countries in the past century, Claire Ortiz Hill maintains that philosophers are treating symptoms of ills whose causes lie buried in history. Substantial linguistic hurdles have blocked access to Gottlob Frege's thought and even to Bertrand Russell's work to remedy the problems he found in it. Misleading translations of key concepts like intention, content, presentation, idea, meaning, concept, etc., severed analytic philosophy from its roots.

Hill argues that once linguistic and historical barriers are removed, Edmund Husserl's critical study of Frege's logic in his 1891 Philosophy of Arithmetic provides important insights into issues in philosophy now.

She supports her conclusions with analyses of Frege's, Husserl's, and Russell's works, including Principia Mathematica, and with linguistic analyses of the principal concepts of analytic philosophy. She re-establishes links that existed between English and Continental thought to show Husserl's expertise as a philosopher of mathematics and logic who had been Weierstrass's assistant and had long maintained ties with Cantor, Hilbert, and Zermelo.


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The Word and the Law
Milner S. Ball
University of Chicago Press, 1993
Milner Ball takes an experimental journey into the inner life of law and the careers of men and women who use it to help disadvantaged people and to strengthen the fabric of the communities in which they live. At the center of this book are portraits of seven contemporary legal practitioners—lawyers, judges, and advocates—who have devoted their lives to an unconventional vision of the law. In their work, in areas from New York City housing court to the Warm Springs reservation in Oregon, the law exemplifies fundamental human values, manifestations of what Ball calls the "Word," the presence of God in life. To develop this concept of the Word, Ball explores its workings in familiar literary and biblical texts, primarily William Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury, Toni Morrison's Beloved, the Book of Isaiah, and the Gospel of Mark.

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The Word and the Spiritual Realities (the I and the Thou)
Ferdinand Ebner
Catholic University of America Press, 2021
This volume will constitute the first published English translation of Ferdinand Ebner’s seminal 1921 work, Das Wort und die geistigen realitäten – long available in major languages but never in English. It is frequently compared with Martin Buber’s, I and Thou, published in 1923, which actually draws its central I-Thou insight from Ebner. In recent centuries, Philosophy reflects a turn toward the autonomous subject vs. a biblical sense of person. The limits/failures of science manifest in the horrors of World War I led to the emergence of a “Dialogical Personalist Philosophy” in reaction to the universal doubt of Cartesian thought and to German Idealism, which engages the idea or representation but not the reality of “things-in-themselves.” The core of Ebner: human speech is constitutive of human existence: humans are given the "word." "Having the word" is a miraculous gift from God. It is only in the word, in language, that an "I" meets a "Thou," that relationship and self-identity can occur, and this word is given in Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh: “In the beginning was the Word”; Jesus, the Logos of St. John's Gospel, mediates between God and man and “stands” between I and Thou. It is through Jesus that it is possible to address God in the human thou. The key to life’s meaning, to the centrality of relationship, and to God's continuous action in His creation, is found in the I-Thou question: why the I can never be found in itself, and so must look in the thou, while the false I will try to possess the thou as an object of power. This is Ebner's critique of idealist thought: reality, truth, and personal identity are neither ideas, nor found in ideas, therefore, Descartes' cogito must be rejected, for the existence of the I can't be founded or proved by solitary thinking, but only in relation with a thou.

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Word, Image, and Deed in the Life of Su Shi
Ronald C. Egan
Harvard University Press, 1994

Remembered today primarily as a poet, calligrapher, and critic, the protean Su Shi was an outspoken player in the contentious politics and intellectual debates of the Northern Song dynasty. In this comprehensive study, Ronald C. Egan analyzes Su’s literary and artistic work against the background of eleventh-century developments within Buddhist and Confucian thought and Su’s dogged disagreement with the New Policies of Wang Anshi.

Egan explicates Su’s views on governance, the classics, and Buddhism; and he describes Su’s social-welfare initiatives, arrest for disloyalty, and exiles. Finding a key to the richness of Su’s artistic activities in his vacillation on the significance of aesthetic pursuits, Egan explores Su’s shi and ci poetry and Su’s promotion of painting and calligraphy, looking specially at the problem of subjectivity. In a concluding chapter, he reconsiders Su’s role as a founder of the wenren (“literati”) and challenges the conventional understanding of both Su and the Northern Song wenren generally.


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A Word in Season
Isaiah's Reception in the Book of Mormon
Joseph M. Spencer
University of Illinois Press, 2023
A groundbreaking look at the relationship between two sacred texts

The Book of Mormon’s narrative privileges Isaiah over other sources, provocatively interpreting and at times inventively reworking the biblical text. Joseph M. Spencer sees within the Book of Mormon a programmatic investigation regarding the meaning and relevance of the Book of Isaiah in a world increasingly removed from the context of the times that produced it. Working from the crossroads of reception studies and Mormon studies, Spencer investigates and clarifies the Book of Mormon’s questions about the vitality of Isaiah’s prophetic project. Spencer’s analysis focuses on the Book of Mormon’s three interactions with the prophet: the character of Abinadi; the resurrected Jesus Christ; and the nation-founding figure of Nephi. Working from the Book of Mormon as it was dictated, Spencer details its vital and overlooked place in Isaiah’s reception while recognizing the interpretation of Isaiah as an organizing force behind the Book of Mormon.


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Word Of God & The Languages Of Man
Interpreting Nature In Early Modern Science And Medicine Volume I, Ficino To Descartes
James J. Bono
University of Wisconsin Press, 1995
This remarkably ambitious work relates changes in scientific and medical thought during the Scientific Revolution (circa 1500–1700) to the emergence of new principles and practices for interpreting language, texts, and nature. An invaluable history of ideas about the nature of language during this period, The Word of God and the Languages of Man also explores the wider cultural origins and impact of these ideas. Its broad and deeply complex picture of a profound sociocultural and intellectual transformation will alter our definition of the scientific revolution.
    James J. Bono shows how the new interpretive principles and scientific practices of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries evolved in response to new views of the relationship between the “Word of God” and the “Languages of Man” fostered by Renaissance Humanism, Neoplatonism, magic, and both the reformed and radical branches of Protestantism. He traces the cultural consequences of these ideas in the thought and work of major and minor actors in the scientific revolution—from Ficino and Paracelsus to Francis Bacon and Descartes. By considering these natural philosophers in light of their own intellectual, religious, philosophical, cultural, linguistic, and especially narrative frameworks, Bono suggests a new way of viewing the sociocultural dynamics of scientific change in the pre–modern period—and ultimately, a new way of understanding the nature and history of scientific thought. The narrative configuration he proposes provides a powerful alternative to the longstanding “revolutionary” metaphor of the history of the scientific revolution.

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The Word of God
Essays on Mormon Scripture
Dan Vogel
Signature Books, 1990

Editor’s Introduction
by Dan Vogel

[p.vii]Belief in continuing revelation and an open canon of scripture distinguishes Mormonism from mainstream Christianity. That the church founded by Joseph Smith would proceed on grounds of continuing revelation was established at the outset. The day the church was organized, 6 April 1830, Joseph Smith dictated a revelation commanding the church to “give heed unto all his words and commandments which he shall give unto you as he receiveth them,… for his words ye shall receive, as if from mine own mouth, in all patience and faith” (LDS D&C 21:4-5; RLDS D&C 19:2). Another revelation declared that the Lord had “given him the keys of the mysteries, and the revelations which are sealed” (LDS D&C 28:7; RLDS D&C 27:12). The principle of continuing revelation insured a gradual unfolding and canonization of various doctrines.

In addition to the Bible, the official canon of the Utah-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints includes the Book of Mormon (first published in Palymra, New York, in 1830), the Doctrine and Covenants (issued in 1833 as A Book of Commandments [incomplete] and in 1835 in Kirtland, Ohio), and the Pearl of Great Price (first published in England in 1851 and republished with changes in Salt Lake City in 1880). This latter volume of scripture contains selections from Joseph Smith’s writings including the Book of Moses (extracted from Smith’s “inspired version” or “translation” of the Bible) and the Book of Abraham (taken from Smith’s interpretation of an ancient Egyptian papyrus). The Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, headquartered in Independence, [p.viii] Missouri, the second largest institution tracing its origins to Joseph Smith, publishes its own editions of the Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants, as well as Smith’s revision of the Bible, but has not canonized the Book of Abraham.

All but one of the following fifteen essays chosen for inclusion in The Word of God: Essays on Mormon Scripture were written by Mormons from either the LDS or RLDS tradition. (The exception is Susan Curtis.) However, rather than being guided by institutional imperatives, each author has attempted to understand Mormon scripture on its own terms. Additionally, each essay wrestles with the problem of the human and the divine in scripture.

Because one’s belief about revelation affects how one approaches scripture, debate about scriptural interpretation often centers on the nature of revelation. The written “word of God” does not come to us direct but rather through human intermediaries. In the words of J. R. Dummelow, writing in A Commentary on The Holy Bible (New York) in 1908, “It is as sunlight through a painted window—the light must come to us coloured by the medium… It is foolish to ignore the existence of the human medium through which the light has come” (p. cxxxv). Book of Mormon prophets, for instance, repeatedly express anxiety over human limitations to convey in language their spiritual teachings. Nephi prays that “the words which I have written in weakness will be made strong” (LDS 2 Ne. 33:4; RLDS 2 Ne. 15:5), and Moroni writes, “if there are faults they are the mistakes of men; wherefore, condemn not the things of God” (Title Page); A position which does not account for the human in revelation will undoubtedly produce disillusionment or distortion.

To consider the human aspects of prophets, revelation, or scripture does not detract from religion, as some traditionalists fear. On the contrary, what cultural and environmental studies challenge are simplistic assumptions about the nature of revelation. Again, Dummelow notes, “Because of our false theory of Verbal Inspiration we are puzzled when the divine is mingled with the human. We must learn that the divine is mingled with the human” (ibid.). We must seek a definition of revelation which accounts for the spectrum of characteristics we encounter in scripture.

Even when we acknowledge the human in revelation and scripture, what exactly is its role and influence? These are not easy [p.ix] questions to answer. But the more precise our identification of human influence on scripture, the more refined our definition of revelation will become. It is hoped that this collection of essays will contribute to that process of understanding.

An awareness of revelation and scripture is an ongoing process and there are differing positions. Readers should therefore understand that neither the authors nor the editor necessarily agree with the views and conclusions reached in all of the essays that follow.

Appreciation is extended to the following authors and publications for permission to reproduce, sometimes in a different format and/or under a different title, many of the essays appearing here: to Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought for essays by Kevin L. Barney, Lester E. Bush, A. Bruce Lindgren, William D. Russell, and George D. Smith; to Sunstone for essays by Anthony A. Hutchinson, Melodie Moench Charles, and Mark D. Thomas; to the John Whitmer Historical Association Journal for essays by Susan Curtis and James E. Lancaster; to Courage for the essay by Richard P. Howard; and to University Bulletin (RLDS) for the essay by Geoffrey F. Spencer. Three of the essays—”Joseph Smith’s Scriptural Cosmology,” by Dan Vogel and Brent Lee Metcalfe; and “Reducing Dissonance: The Book of Abraham as a Case Study” and “Making the Scriptures ‘Indeed One in Our Hands,'” both by Edward H. Ashment—are published here for the first time.

Throughout the essays standardized parenthetical scriptural references are provided for the most recent editions published by both the LDS and RLDS churches. Thus LDS D&C 76:1 refers to the most recent edition of the Doctrine and Covenants published by the LDS church, section 76, verse 1. RLDS 1 Ne. 2:4 refers to the Book of First Nephi, chapter 2, verse 4, in the most recent edition of the Book of Mormon published by the RLDS church. JST means the Joseph Smith translation of the King James Bible published by the RLDS church; Moses to the Book of Moses and Abr. to the Book of Abraham as found in current editions of the Pearl of Great Price (PGP) published by the LDS church.[p.1]


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The Word of Islam
Edited by John Alden Williams
University of Texas Press, 1993

Since the 1970s, Islam has been undergoing a tremendous resurgence throughout the world. This resurgence has often been labeled "Islamic fundamentalism" by the media, but it includes believers of every persuasion, from the most conservative to the most liberal.

Given this fact, it is vital for the West to understand the terms in which Islam thinks and to communicate effectively with Muslims. This anthology includes writings central to Islamic thought, some translated earlier but here redone, and others which have never before appeared in any Western language.

The selections include an interpretation of the Qur'an, as well as portions of the Hadith, or sayings and actions of the Prophet; Islamic law; mysticism (Sufism); theology; and sectarian writings. A final essay on Islam today places these writings in their contemporary context and shows the breadth and variety of Islamic belief and practice.

Compiled with the intention of letting Islam describe itself in its own words, the book is an important source for all students of Muslim culture and world religions. This book is similar in scope to Williams' well-known 1961 George Braziller publication, but freshly written and much improved.


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The Word of the Lord Is Upon Me
The Righteous Performance of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Jonathan Rieder
Harvard University Press, 2008
“You don’t know me,” Martin Luther King, Jr., once declared to those who criticized his denunciation of the Vietnam War, who wanted to confine him to the ghetto of “black” issues. Now, forty years after being felled by an assassin’s bullet, it is still difficult to take the measure of the man: apostle of peace or angry prophet; sublime exponent of a beloved community or fiery Moses leading his people up from bondage; black preacher or translator of blackness to the white world?This book explores the extraordinary performances through which King played with all of these possibilities, and others too, blending and gliding in and out of idioms and identities. Taking us deep into King’s backstage discussions with colleagues, his preaching to black congregations, his exhortations in mass meetings, and his crossover addresses to whites, Jonathan Rieder tells a powerful story about the tangle of race, talk, and identity in the life of one of America’s greatest moral and political leaders.A brilliant interpretive endeavor grounded in the sociology of culture, The Word of the Lord Is Upon Me delves into the intricacies of King’s sermons, speeches, storytelling, exhortations, jokes, jeremiads, taunts, repartee, eulogies, confessions, lamentation, and gallows humor, as well as the author’s interviews with members of King’s inner circle. The King who emerges is a distinctively modern figure who, in straddling the boundaries of diverse traditions, ultimately transcended them all.

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The Word of Truth, Sealed by the Spirit
Perspectives on the Inspiration and Truth of Sacred Scripture
Matthew C. Genung
Saint Paul Seminary Press, 2022
The Word of Truth, Sealed by the Spirit is a collection of seven essays pertaining to the topic of biblical inspiration and truth. Two chapters provide a critical analysis of the Pontifical Biblical Commission’s 2014 document The Inspiration and Truth of Sacred Scripture and reflect upon its relevance and outcome. Five chapters respond to a particular aspect of this document by investigating a hermeneutical or exegetical question in order to advance the dialogue on the questions of biblical inspiration and truth. This book is intended not only for Catholic seminary and university professors and students but also Protestant scholars and students, as well as catechized lay people of all Christian denominations. Luis Sánchez-Navarro, DCJM, writes on the importance of understanding the relationship between revelation, biblical inspiration, and truth for both biblical interpretation and for Christian living. Michael Magee provides a critical analysis of the PBC document by situating it within the recent history of the Church’s attempts to clarify the theology of biblical inspiration and truth. Matthew C. Genung studies Exodus 19 in its context, showing that the Bible itself indicates that its nature as emended Scripture pertains to its inspired character. Anthony Pagliarini writes about the Book of Ezekiel as inspired Scripture given the non-fulfillment of Ezekiel’s prophetic vision of the restored Temple. Aaron Pidel, SJ, analyzes Joseph Ratzinger’s writings on hermeneutics and biblical theology, to propose a reliable methodology for determining the historicity of conflicting biblical reports. Marcin Kowalski, analyzing 1 Corinthians 11:2–16, addresses the question of the inspired character of a text at variance with changing gender roles in society. Kelly Anderson evaluates biblical texts depicting an inner-trinitarian dialogue in order to shed light on the relationship of inspired Scripture to the eternal dialogue of God.

logo for University of London Press
Word on the Street
Edited by Elisha Foust and Sophie Fuggle
University of London Press, 2011

front cover of The Word On The Street
The Word On The Street
Homeless Men In Las Vegas
Kurt Borchard
University of Nevada Press, 2007
Just beyond Las Vegas’s neon and fantasy live thousands of homeless people, most of them men. To the millions of visitors who come to Las Vegas each year to enjoy its gambling and entertainment, the city’s homeless people are largely invisible, segregated from tourist areas because it’s “good business.” Now, through candid discussions with homeless men, analysis of news reports, and years of fieldwork, Kurt Borchard reveals the lives and desperation of men without shelter in Las Vegas.

Borchard’s account offers a graphic, disturbing, and profoundly moving picture of life on Las Vegas’s streets, depicting the strategies that homeless men employ in order to survive, from the search for a safe place to sleep at night to the challenges of finding food, maintaining personal hygiene, and finding an acceptable place to rest during a long day on the street.

That such misery and desperation exist in the midst of Las Vegas’s hedonistic tourist economy and booming urban development is a cruel irony, according to the author, and it threatens the city’s future as a prime tourist destination. The book will be of interest to social workers, sociologists, anthropologists, politicians, and all those concerned about changing the misery on the street.


front cover of The Word on the Street
The Word on the Street
Linking the Academy and the Common Reader
Harvey Michael Teres
University of Michigan Press, 2010

"The Word On the Street invites humanities scholars to move beyond the classroom and the monograph to share the pleasures of art in ways that engage the intelligence of the common reader, cultivating the critical imagination so vital to American cultural democracy.  Lively and thought-provoking, Teres lays out contemporary debates and wades into them with gusto."
---Nancy Cantor, Syracuse University

"At a moment when questions about the literary, 'bookishness,' and the future of print are being urgently raised, with incessant national attention to the perceived crises of literacy and reading, Teres' thoughtful, broadly democratic, but also tough-minded examination of both 'common readers' and academic readers makes a real contribution to the debate."
---Julie Ellison, University of Michigan

Despite significant changes since the mid-twentieth century in American critical culture---the culture emanating from the serious review of books, ideas, and the arts---it attracts only a small and declining minority of Americans. However productive this culture has been, American society has not approached the realization of Emerson's or Dewey's vision of a highly participatory American cultural democracy. Such a culture requires critics who are read by the average citizen, but the migration of critics and intellectuals from the public to the academy has resulted in fewer efforts to engage with ordinary citizens. The Word on the Street investigates this disjunction between the study of literature in the academy and the interests of the common reader and society at large, arguing the vital importance of publicly engaged scholarship in the humanities. Teres chronicles how the once central function of the humanities professorate---to teach students to appreciate and be inspired by literature---has increasingly been lost to literary and cultural studies in the last thirty years.

The Word on the Street argues for a return to an earlier model of the public intellectual and a literary and cultural criticism that is accessible to ordinary citizens. Along the way, Teres offers an illuminating account of the current problem and potential solutions, with the goal of prompting a future vision of publicly engaged scholarship that resonates with the common reader and promotes an informed citizenry.

Harvey Teres is Associate Professor of English at Syracuse University.

Cover image: Ruth Fremson/The New York Times/Redux

The New Public Scholarship


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