The Garments of Torah: Essays in Biblical Hermeneutics

By Michael Fishbane | Go to book overview

·Conclusion·

THE NOTION OF
A SACRED TEXT

We are no longer as we were. No longer are we sustained within a biblical matrix; or at least not solely so, and not without an acute awareness of competing claims on our spiritual and cognitive integrity. The labor of many centuries has expelled us from this edenic womb and its wellsprings of life and knowledge. And so if essayists like Matthew Arnold and poets like Wallace Stevens have billed the poet as the modern day avatar of priest and rabbi, is this not because the Bible has lost its ancient authority to provide moral guidance and spiritual insight, and to differentiate the sacred and the profane? And further, if modern literary critics still struggle with notions of an integrated text, and such phrases as "sacred text" or "literary canon," are not these too the cultural afterbirth of notions of a sacred Scripture once believed to be a seamless web of integrated meanings ?

To be sure, there are those who regard the desacralization of the Bible as the fortunate condition for the rise of new sensibilities and modes of imagination. I will not address this issue here—not because I find it irrelevant or perverse (I do not), but simply because I do not wish to delay discussion of a topic too regularly deferred in modern discourse. What I am concerned with, of course, is the very notion of a sacred text for those of us who do not unreflectingly talk the language of religious tradition, or who cannot—and with whether this notion of a sacred text is at all retrievable at this historical hour.

Since this question affects our innermost cultural being, and traces our relationship to the foundational text of our religious and cultural origins. there is no choice but to speak personally. This choice is reinforced by my deep conviction that genuine questions are those that seize us and from which there can be no honest evasion. In this respect I am very much a disciple of Franz Rosenzweig. But how can this notion of a sacred text be encountered—given our present alienation from such matters and the fact that we come to this topic through a mix of modern notions regarding texts, their status, and the role of a reader? I have no unilateral solution,

-121-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Garments of Torah: Essays in Biblical Hermeneutics
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 155

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.