Fortress Press

Writing Faith

Writing Faith

Timothy Stanley (Author)


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In Writing Faith, Timothy Stanley provides a novel reevaluation of Jacques Derrida’s deconstructive account of writing. Derrida’s various essays on writing's materiality in books, scrolls, typewriters and digital displays, briefly touched on the question of religion. At times he directed his attention to the mediatic nature of Christianity. However, such comments have rarely been applied to formal aspects of religious texts. In response, this book investigates the rise of the Christian codex in its second-to-fifth-century-CE Jewish and Greco-Roman contexts. By better understanding the religious nature of this technical development, it becomes possible to reframe writing's coincidence with faith.

  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • Format Hardcover
  • ISBN 9781506423388
  • eBook ISBN 9781506423296
  • Dimensions 6 x 9
  • Pages 154
  • Publication Date February 1, 2017


1. The Early Codex Book
2. Writing's Supplementation
3. Faith's Reception
4. Disrupting Scripture
5. Writing Faith


Reading this essay will encourage you to reconsider your theological understanding of all written media

“Timothy Stanley's stimulating book challenges the reader to reflect on the technical significance of writing, especially the writing of faith, from antiquity to the present. Early Christian preferences for writing sacred texts in codex books is strikingly juxtaposed with modern philosophical reflections on the nature of text, printed word, and publication from Derrida back to Kierkegaard via Heidegger. Among many riches, three notable matters emerge: first, that the codex enabled the ongoing unified representation of diversity, just as does the printed book; second, that writing, especially on treated animal skin, was a deep sign of verbal incarnation beyond the philosophical privileging of orality; and third, that concrete text both creates presence and denotes absence, is both immanent and apophatic. Reading this essay will encourage you to reconsider your theological understanding of all written media, not least the gains and losses of the contemporary action of ‘scrolling down.’”

George J. Brooke | University of Manchester