The Bible Tells Them So: The Discourse of Protestant Fundamentalism

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SUNY Press, 1989 - Religion - 139 pages
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Exploring its vigorous hold on believers and its influence on American public life, Boone approaches the authority of fundamentalism through its discourse. She uses literary theory to explain how the Bible actually functions in sermons and other discourse. Emphasizing the critical problem of any appeal to the "text itself," the book demonstrates that the authority of fundamentalism is ultimately an authority of the text and of the interpreter, equally. Without the Bible, the preacher is powerless, but without the preacher's interpretations, the text loses its binding authority.

The book examines principles of interpretation with extensive reference to such literary theorists as E. D. Hirsch, Stanley Fish, and Edward Said. The sensitive juxtaposition of fundamentalism and literary criticism not only opens a new window on fundamentalists, but also provides insights that will unsettle partisans of other persuasions.
 

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Contents

Preface
1
Introduction
5
The Plain Book
17
The Inerrant Text
23
Literal Senses
39
The Interpretive Community
61
The Authority of Interpreters
77
The Doctrine of Hell
99
Conclusion
107
Afterword
113
Notes
115
Works Cited
129
Index
137
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About the author (1989)

Kathleen C. Boone is Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs at Daemen College.

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