Burning to Read

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Harvard University Press, 2007 - History - 346 pages
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Amid present-day conflagrations, this illuminating book reminds us of the sources, and profound consequences, of Christian fundamentalism in the sixteenth century. Simpson focuses on the cultural transformation in early modern England that allowed common people to read the Bible for the first time. The last wave of fundamentalist reading in the West provoked 150 years of violent upheaval; as we approach a second wave, this powerful book alerts us to our peril.
 

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Several months ago, visiting family, someone mentioned that he had just returned from a sermon on Ezekiel 16. We asked, "what did the pastor say?" "Do what God wants or else." If you don't know ... Read full review

Contents

Introduction
1
Two Hundred Years of Biblical Violence
10
Good Bible News
34
Salvation Reading and Textual Hatred
68
The Literal Sense and Predestination
106
Bible Reading Persecution and Paranoia
142
History as Error
184
Thomas More and Textual Trust
222
The Tragic Scene of Early Modern Reading
260
Abbreviations
284
Notes
285
Index
341
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