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Bible Culture and Authority in the Early United States$
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Seth Perry

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780691179131

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691179131.001.0001

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Joshua, When the Walls Fell

Joshua, When the Walls Fell

Biblical Roles in Changing Times

(p.65) Chapter Three Joshua, When the Walls Fell
Bible Culture and Authority in the Early United States

Seth Perry

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines forms of bible usage that were performative, popular, and implicit. Focusing on the notion of performed biblicism, it considers the Bible's role in constructing relationships of religious subjectivity as a dynamic aspect of lived circumstance. It also considers the importance of performance of biblical roles and the historicized sense of the Bible that went with these performances, citing as an example Fanny Newell's repeated written performances of Paul's words; how performed biblicism differs from biblical typology; and how would-be authorities interacted with the Bible as the defining part of the period's discursive field. The chapter concludes with an analysis of the consequences and stakes of performed biblicism in the early national period by looking at the bible-based performances of Peggy and Lorenzo Dow, two of the era's most eccentric biblical performers.

Keywords:   bible usage, performed biblicism, Bible, religious subjectivity, biblical roles, Fanny Newell, typology, Peggy Dow, Lorenzo Dow

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