Disposing of Non-Disposable Texts: Conclusions and Prospects for Further Study

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The chapters of this volume document that many religious communities practice rituals for disposing of sacred texts and that even more exhibit some concern for their proper disposal. The fact that such rituals regularly take the form of funerals points to widespread recognition of an analogy between sacred texts and people. I think the attention these traditions devote to the disposal of sacred texts brings to light a typical way of thinking about many other kinds of books and texts as well, though certainly not all. As one way of analyzing the practices and beliefs documented so thoroughly in these chapters, I will discuss the general problem of book disposal as well as the analogy between humans and texts in the context of a theory of textual ritualization. This will lay the basis for suggesting some directions for future research to build on the path breaking contributions of the studies presented in this volume.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Death of Sacred Texts
Subtitle of host publicationRitual Disposal and Renovation of Texts in World Religions
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781317036401
ISBN (Print)9780754669180
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities


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