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Interpreting the Bible & the Constitution

Author: Jaroslav Pelikan; John W. Kluge Center (Library of Congress)
Publisher: New Haven : Yale University Press, ©2004.
Series: A John W. Kluge Center book
Edition/Format:   Book : EnglishView all editions and formats
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Genre/Form: Criticism, interpretation, etc
History
Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Jaroslav Pelikan; John W. Kluge Center (Library of Congress)
ISBN: 0300102674 9780300102673
OCLC Number: 54968313
Notes: "A John W. Kluge Center book."
Description: xiii, 216 pages ; 22 cm.
Contents: Normative scripture : Christian and American --
Cruxes of interpretation in the Bible and in the constitution --
The Sensus literalis and the quest for original intent --
Development of doctrine : patterns and criteria.
Series Title: A John W. Kluge Center book
Other Titles: Interpreting the Bible and the Constitution
Responsibility: Jaroslav Pelikan.
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Both the Bible and the Constitution have the status of "Great Code," but each of these important texts is controversial as well as enigmatic. They are asked to speak to situations that their authors could not have anticipated on their own. In this book, one of our greatest religious historians brings his vast knowledge of the history of biblical interpretation to bear on the question of constitutional interpretation. Jaroslav Pelikan compares the methods by which the official interpreters of the Bible and the Constitution--the Christian Church and the Supreme Court, respectively--have approached the necessity of interpreting, and reinterpreting, their important texts. In spite of obvious differences, both texts require close, word-by-word exegesis, an awareness of opinions that have gone before, and a willingness to ask new questions of old codes, Pelikan observes. He probes for answers to the question of what makes something authentically "constitutional" or "biblical," and he demonstrates how an understanding of either biblical interpretation or constitutional interpretation can illuminate the other in important ways.

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