Skip to main content
×
×
Home
Copyrighting God

Book description

Copyrighting God provides the first detailed account of how American religious organizations used copyright in sacred texts not simply for economic gain but also for social organization and control. Including chapters on the angelic authorship of The Urantia Book, Mary Baker Eddy's use of copyright to construct the Christian Science Church, interdenominational disputes in the Worldwide Church of God, and the Church of Scientology's landmark lawsuits against Internet service providers, this book examines how religious copyright owners mobilized the law in order to organize communities, protect sacred goods, produce new forms of spiritual identity, and even enchant the material world. In doing so, this book demonstrates that these organizations all engaged in complex efforts to harmonize legal arguments and theological rationales in order to care for and protect religious media, thereby coming to a nuanced understanding of secular law as a resource for, and obstacle to, their unique spiritual objectives.

Reviews

'Copyrighting God explores how copyright law is crucially involved in constructing and maintaining the sacredness of religious texts and the aura of charismatic leaders, framing a church’s relationship with internal and external critics, and maintaining the boundaries and identity of new religious communities. Even more surprising, some of the specific challenges that religions have posed to intellectual property have been influential to its further articulation. Superbly researched and subtly argued through copious printed and archival sources, Copyrighting God has many gems to offer to many disciplines, from religious studies to law, media studies, American studies and history, and cultural studies. Ventimiglia’s gift to communicate complex arguments in crystal-clear prose will gain this book many admirers, from the classroom to the public sphere.'

Mario Biagioli - Distinguished Professor, University of California, Davis

'Focusing on disputes around intellectual property, Ventimiglia demonstrates how religious communities rely on secular law to define and protect their religious knowledge. I can’t imagine a more innovative, more timely, or more urgently needed investigation of the dynamics between law, religion, publishing, and technology. Ventimiglia’s book makes a powerful contribution to our understanding of how contemporary religion takes shape.'

Ari Y. Kelman - Jim Joseph Professor of Education and Jewish StudiesStanford University Graduate School of Education

'This exciting book asks scholars of religion to identify intellectual property law as an important site for organizing - and controlling - religious practice. Through rich analysis of legal disputes, the author considers how the commercial management of property defines modern religious experience. A powerful and necessary new argument.'

Kathryn Lofton - Yale University, Connecticut

'This is an original, engaging, and thoughtful book that will be of interest to anyone seeking to gain a deeper understanding of an important but neglected area of the history of copyright law, as well as the complex relationship between religion and law in the United States. Through careful socio-legal analysis and archival research, the author reveals the legal resourcefulness that American religious leaders and organizations have employed in asserting ownership over sacred and prophetic texts. At the same time he also demonstrates that a greater dependence on the law might damage religious credibility and vice-versa.'

Brad Sherman - University of Queensland

Refine List
Actions for selected content:
Select all | Deselect all
  • View selected items
  • Export citations
  • Download PDF (zip)
  • Send to Kindle
  • Send to Dropbox
  • Send to Google Drive
  • Send content to

    To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to .

    To send content items to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

    Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

    Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

    Please be advised that item(s) you selected are not available.
    You are about to send
    ×

Save Search

You can save your searches here and later view and run them again in "My saved searches".

Please provide a title, maximum of 40 characters.
×

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Book summary page views

Total views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between #date#. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed