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How the Bible Works: An Anthropological Study of Evangelical Biblicism (Cognitive Science of Religion) Paperback – April 30, 2004

ISBN-13: 978-0759106659 ISBN-10: 0759106657

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Product Details

  • Series: Cognitive Science of Religion
  • Paperback: 184 pages
  • Publisher: AltaMira Press (April 30, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0759106657
  • ISBN-13: 978-0759106659
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,469,875 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Brian Malley's ethnography brims with bold new insights and counter-intuitive ideas about how conservative evangelicals know 'what the Bible says.' After deftly disposing of literalist clichés, he shows how their interpretive traditions combine with an absence of hermeneutic method and their desire for daily relevance to 'bring the Bible alive' for each generation. A must-read for anyone curious about what Bible belief really is and how it happens. (Susan Harding, University of California, Santa Cruz)

This is an exciting time for students of religion, with new competing theories drawing on cognitive anthropology and psychology, and on evolutionary biology. With this first in-depth case-study of a religious movement based on these novel ideas, Brian Malley makes an outstanding contribution to the ongoing debates. (Dan Sperber, French Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

About the Author

Brian Malley studied comparative religion at Western Michigan University (M.A., 1994) and anthropology at the University of Michigan (Ph.D., 2002). He currently lectures in psychology at the University of Michigan. His main interests are religion and the intersection of culture and cognition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By mister_one on December 14, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For anyone interested in understanding the mechanics of American biblicism, this is perhaps the best anthropological study that could be done on the subject. With a fundamentalist/evangelical history in his own life, Malley gets to the core issues with great precision; yet he approaches this study very objectively. This book is not a polemic. It is a fantastic and enlightening empirical study on biblicism. So much information is packed into relatively few pages that you'll likely want to read it multiple times, letting the insights soak in further with each read.
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9 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey Kelley on April 12, 2005
Format: Paperback
I read this book for Dr. Malley's Introduction to Anthropology course at the University of Michigan, and I was impressed. His knowledge of how the Bible is seen by churchgoers is second to none, and throughout the book the reader comes to "know" the people a the Creekside Baptist Church, though that name is a pseudonym. I wouldn't recommend this book for coffee-table reading, as there are lots of technical details; it is better suited for a reader in the academic field.
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