Luke Clossey

Published On


Page Range

pp. 241–264


  • English

Print Length

24 pages

10. Making Canon

  • Luke Clossey (author)
The first half of this chapter looks at how deep-ken value was added to Bibles and Qur'ans with calligraphy, decoration, and sacred language. The second half shows how there developed a more plain-ken attitude, which manifested in an acceptance of messy vernacular translations and two efficiency revolutions—(1) automation in Bible production through the printing press and (2) miniaturization in Qur'an production with the shift from the “perfect” muhaqqaq script to the workhorse naskh. In the plain ken, all meaning is constructed in history, by humans for humans, independent of other factors. In the deep ken, meaning is deeply contextualized, independent of historical time, but dependent on consonance. The deep ken found value in reading a high-quality edition of scripture with a serious and purposeful mindset, while the plain ken held scripture's meaning to be constant, regardless of where or how one read it.


Luke Clossey

Associate Professor of Global History at Simon Fraser University

Luke Clossey is an associate professor of global history at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada. His first book, Salvation and Globalization in the Early Jesuit Missions (Cambridge UP, 2008), won the Canadian Historical Association's Ferguson Prize for best work of non-Canadian history; a chapter from it won a paper prize from the World History Association. His writings on global religion, the history of ideas, and history methodology have appeared in the Journal of World History, the Journal of Global History, the Journal of Early Modern History, the Sixteenth Century Journal, Global History Review 全球史评 论 , History Compass, the Wiley-Blackwell Companion to World Literature, and The Cambridge World History.