Remixing the Bible

I bumped into this little cover image for the bible a few days ago and it got me thinking what people find acceptable when it comes to redesigning or “remixing” the bible through art. This has been happening for centuries. Sacred text depicted in art-form is nothing new.* This particular image is not ground-breaking in anyway that I can tell, but I appreciate the fact that it is a cover that tries to depict something a little different about scripture. The idea was motivated by someone wanting to create a cover for “non-card-carrying Christians” is weird because the old handy-dandy black cover seems nondescript enough to not draw attention if that’s the goal, whereas a cover with hot-pink and other bright colors will do the opposite.

It raises questions about “appropriate” use of the Bible. Which is a perfect question that relates to my interests around how faith communities reinterpret their tradition in new contexts. This is something I addressed in a post about how Quakers have historically used and interpreted scripture through an empathic reading.

While I would not carry a bible around with a cover like this, I do like the idea of encouraging “remix” culture in this way. People need to create and draw inspiration off of the bible in a way that brings it into today, challenges sanctioned readings, interpretations and representations. This is how things progress.

*I use affiliate links for all books that connect to the local and independent bookstore Powell’s in Portland.

Published by Wess Daniels

Teacher, author, Quaker, ​and public theologian. Director of Friends Center and Quaker Studies at Guilford College.

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