Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Joint Ph.D. Program in Study of Religion

First Advisor

Pamela Eisenbaum, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Jeffrey Mahan

Third Advisor

Sarah Pessin


Affordance, Anarchy, Bible, Collaboration, Interface, Surface-area


The book is undergoing a major technological transition as print wanes in its dominance and the internet and mobile devices transform our reading and writing technologies. With the entangled histories of bible and book, our emerging technological age and its transformation of the materiality of bible forces us to engage bible as something irreducible to a book. The connections between the major technological transition from roll to codex in antiquity and the contemporary move toward the internet and mobile technologies as reading platforms encourage us to consider bible as an interface that affords high surface area, collaboration, and anarchy. Building on a growing attention to materiality in the study of religion and iconic books like the bible, I suggest bible as interface here to signal that bible is more than a container of content. Rather, bible as interface is a relationship between a material platform and a user that cannot be reduced to simple consumption of content. Rooted in the material religion approaches of Brent Plate and James Watts and animated by the interface theory of Johanna Drucker extended through a Levinasian optics of proximity, I will explore the many contact points of high surface area, the interruptive processes of collaboration, and the irreducibility to a single original text or single proper use in anarchy through a close look at the materiality of bible from ancient roll to digital API.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Michael Paul Hemenway


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

204 p.


Biblical studies, Information technology