Christianity encapsulates its claims to authority in a book, the bible. The church's tradition is dependent on literacy: throughout its history the Christian message has been conveyed through books and other forms of writing, to provide continuity through periods of persecution, to challenge rival views, to aid processes of conversion, and as vital witnesses to the history of the Church as both a spiritual and social phenomenon. This collection of twenty-six articles by an international group of scholars offers insights into many aspects of the relationship between the church and the book, from the first appearance of Christian writings through to the twentieth century, not just in Britain and Europe, but in America, China, and India. Contributors: Margaret Aston, James Bettley, Ruth Chavasse, Michael Clanchy, Brian Cummings, James J. Davis, Christoph Egger, Richard Emms, S.G. Hall, Sarah Hamilton, Elizabeth M. Ingram, W. M. Jacob, G. H. Jenkins, l. Laamann, Oliver M. T. Logan, Judith D. Maltby, Scott H. Mandelbrote, Susan Martin, Jeremy Morris, R. Mckitterick, Thomas O'Loughlin, M. A. Overell, Graham Shaw, Erik Sidenvall, Norman P. Tanner, Susan Wabuda, Alexandra M.Walsham.;Professor R.N. Swanson teaches in the Department of Medieval History at the University of Birmingham.