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A man takes the Qur’an in his hand, carefully pronouncing each syllable of Arabic, repeating the language of Allah. A family gathers together to read the story of Christ’s passion. A young nun pores over the sutras, searching for an answer.

Sacred Texts and Authority probes what five great world religions mean by the term “sacred text.” For many religions, a text might not be a document. It might include a person, drama, or dance informing teachings that will be remembered through the passage of time. How are such texts related to authoritative teachings? What claims does a traditional authority hold on current believers and seekers? These insightful questions are answered by authorities on each tradition.

Author Bio

Jacob Neusner (1932–2016) was a preeminent scholar of ancient Judaism and one of the most published authors ever, with more than 900 original volumes to his name. He was educated at Harvard University, the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, the University of Oxford, and Yale University. He was research professor of theology and senior fellow of the Institute of Advanced Theology at Bard College. Neusner’s work has been highly influential, if sometimes controversial. He pioneered applying “form criticism” to Rabbinic texts, and aimed at a humanistic and academic reading of ancient Jewish literature.

Nesuner’s works include the Jacob Neusner Jewish Studies Bundle (99 vols.).