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Title page for ETD etd-03232009-205641

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Dault, David
Author's Email Address david.dault@gmail.com
URN etd-03232009-205641
Title The Covert Magisterium: Theology, Textuality and the Question of Scripture
Degree PhD
Department Religion
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Paul J. DeHart Committee Chair
Leonard Greenspoon Committee Member
M. Douglas Meeks Committee Member
Patout Burns Committee Member
William Franke Committee Member
  • scripture
  • magisterium
  • theology
  • Bible
  • church authority
  • textuality
  • material religion
  • material scripture
  • sola scriptura
  • scriptural reasoning
  • david kelsey
  • peter ochs
  • nicholas wolterstorff
  • printed Bibles
  • printing
  • physical scripture
Date of Defense 2008-12-04
Availability unrestricted
This project utilizes cultural materialist methodologies to examine the doctrine of Scripture as it pertains to post-20th Century North American theologians. The dissertation puts forth the thesis that such theologians ignore the physical aspects of printed Bibles, preferring to refer instead to a reified and abstract notion of “Scripture.” As a result, additions by publishers such as footnotes, editorial addenda, marginalia and other “paratextual effects” function, for the theologian and lay reader alike, as a “covert Magisterium,” which shapes the reader’s interpretation and understanding of the text. This dissertation presents contemporary American theologians with a methodology for examining these covert influences, and exhorts them to respond to the ethical challenge posed by the presence of such covert ideological influences in printed versions Scripture.
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