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Serving the Word : Literalism in America from the Pulpit to the Bench - Vincent Crapanzano

Serving the Word

Literalism in America from the Pulpit to the Bench

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A surprising look at America's search for certainty by a leading anthropologist and cultural critic. The rebirth of fundamentalist thinking in the rapidly changing world is a striking feature of our time. Vincent Crapanzano, one of the country's leading anthropologists, has written an extraordinary book examining the prevalence of fundamentalism and literalism and the unexpected forms they take in modern America, in both religious and secular life. An expert on North and South Africa, Crapanzano could have taken the cliched approach of seeking to understand the fundamentalist impulse in the context of Islam. Instead, he takes the more challenging--and fresher--route of looking at our own society. In a work that moves from wealthy Angelenos who embrace starkly literal readings of the Bible to Supreme Court Justice Scalia insisting on the narrowest interpretation of legal texts, Crapanzano makes a persuasive claim that the attraction to literal certainty that we associate with fringe fanaticism is in fact deeply embedded in American culture. Crapanzano's earlier works have been hailed as "brilliant" (Guardian), "deeply involving" (Publishers Weekly), and "utterly convincing" (Sunday Times). Like works including Christopher Lasch's The Culture of Narcissism, this new book poses basic questions about the state of America's mind and soul.

Acknowledgmentsp. xi
A Note on Bible Translationp. xiii
Prefacep. xv
Introductionp. 1
The Pulpit
Electionp. 29
Sanctificationp. 84
Historyp. 150
The Bench
The Constitutionp. 197
Foundationsp. 229
Intentionp. 279
Precedentp. 304
Conclusionp. 324
Notesp. 357
Referencesp. 383
Indexp. 399
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9781565844124
ISBN-10: 1565844122
Audience: General
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 408
Published: 1st January 2000
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 21.0 x 13.9  x 3.18
Weight (kg): 0.54
Edition Number: 1