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Copyrighting God: Ownership of the Sacred in American Religion

Copyrighting God: Ownership of the Sacred in American Religion

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Andrew Ventimiglia
Cambridge University Press, 12/6/2018
EAN 9781108430371, ISBN10: 1108430376

Paperback, 254 pages, 22.9 x 15.2 x 1.4 cm
Language: English

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.

Introduction
owning the sacred
Part I. The Angelic Author and the Sacred Work
1. Spirited possessions
2. The angels' share
Part II. The Doctrines of Religion and Law
3. Authorship and authority in intellectual property
4. A market in prophecy
5. Digital liability and the Church of Scientology
Conclusion
the afterlife of intellectual property.