Thursday 29 May 2008

Faux theological libraries

Over at the IVP blog, Dan has an exciting new proposal: faux theological libraries. “I am recommending that IVP Academic begin offering our customers a full array of faux books to adorn their dens, studies or office walls. Consider it intellectual wallpaper.” This is great news for theologians everywhere. A faux edition of the Patrologia Latina (or of the new 31-volume edition of Barth’s Dogmatics) can make you feel just as proud, but without all the associated fuss of reading.

Come to think of it, some theological books might actually be better as faux editions…


Anonymous said...

You could include all of Rick Warren's and Joel Osteen's books as well as a cavalcade of other faux theolgians.

Anonymous said...

Ben, will a faux Milton book ever come out?

Anonymous said...

Why not all the great books that have never been written?

Say, Luther's later Romans lectures, Zwingli's Come to think of it, that really is His Body, Bultmann's Solid Historical Evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus, Barth's 38 volume Principles of Beekeeping and Stanley Hauerwas' early work, The Three Branches of the United States Government as Expression of the Trinity.

I can't wait.

Pieter Pronk said...

Well I have to admit, that I have been concerned about my intellectual wallpaper. I've been reading more and more ebooks, but the problem is that they just don't have that same impact on people who come by my house. Sure I could print out a list of all the books on my computer and leave that forever laying around my coffee table, but it just doesn't have that same air of grandeur.

When I was a young kid I was actually quite fascinated by all those thick white books taking a whole shelf for themselves. "That's the KD" my dad said proudly. "Have you read all of them?" was of course my question as a kid. "Nobody reads all of them. Well, a very few do, but they're just showing off."

What impressed me most was the fact that the index was a complete book of it's own. "Go ahead, look something up." I looked up the coolest thing I could think of as a kid: "Demonology". Sadly there were no pictures.

Anonymous said...

This reminds me of a Flann O'Brien article in which he offers a service to "maul the books of illiterate, but wealthy, upstarts so that the books will look as if they have been read and re-read by their owners. How many uses of 'mauling' would there be? Without giving the matter much thought, I should say four, including DeLuxe Handling. Each volume to be mauled savagely, the spines of the smaller volumes to be damaged in a manner that will give the impression that they have been carried around in pockets ... not less than 30 volumes to be treated with old coffee, tea, porter or whiskey stains, and not less than five volumes to be inscribed with forged signatures of the author." (Some of the remarks to be penned on the pages include "Rubbish!" "I remember poor Joyce saying the very same thing to me," and "From your devoted friend and follower, K. Marx.") Perhaps we can combine both faux books, and faux reading.

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