Similar questions are arising in the study of the Bible specifically.1 In what sense are the texts we study religious? We are all well versed at reading them in terms of their binding, that is, the binding of Scripture (literally, “writing”) into The Book, The Book of books, by which its monolithic and univocal Author/Father founds a politics of religious, national, and sexual identity, and claims binding authority over all His subjects. We know about reading the binding, and groups such as the Christian Coalition, with their explicit agenda of establishing one single founding voice in Bible and in politics alike, are always there to remind us lest we forget. But is that all there is to it-the binding? As we once again open the question, the book, and the question of The Book, might that binding begin to break? Might we find not only that Scripture can provide a binding social/symbolic order, a politics of identity, but that it also opens to the possibility of its own-and
our own-(self) interrogation, to its own-and our own-unsettling, to “what escapes”? Is it conceivable that it does not simply serve the formation of the subject within a particular system or politics of identity? Might it also articulate a crisis in identity, a crisis that is capable of opening to new possibilities for political transformation which at the same time may be very, very ancient?