November 1, 2005
Turbulence Commission: "Exegesis" by Kushal Dave
Needs Java 1.4 + [see for other technical recommendations]

"Exegesis" is an attempt to understand how people quote the Bible - which parts they choose to quote, and why. It highlights the portions that appear most often on the web and presents excerpts from some of them.

The Bible is quoted in a range of contexts: political, academic, scientific, ethical, literary, and, of course, religious. All are on display, along with careful discussion about the meanings and implications of every line. Where the Bible is used to persuade, Dave is particularly interested in whether it is treated as a set of facts and literal dictates, or as an eloquent expression of subjective ideas. Many pages examine the subtleties, ambiguities and contradictions in the Bible, while others make explicit statements such as "God Hates Fags." "Amidst all this, though," says Dave, "a picture of a beautiful and inspirational Bible emerges, with popular passages seemingly just as likely to be encouraging as proscriptive."

"Exegesis" places a set of rules in motion. No editorial selection is applied.

"Exegesis" is a 2005 commission of New Radio and Performing Arts, Inc., (aka Ether-Ore) for its Turbulence web site. It was made possible with funding from the Murray G. and Beatrice H. Sherman Charitable Trust.


Kushal Dave is a software engineer at Google, New York, where he works on a range of projects. His previous job was at IBM Research in Cambridge, where he had the privilege of catching the visualization bug while studying Slashdot, emails, and wikis with Martin Wattenberg. Kushal has long been obsessed with citation and commentary, having produced an annotated version of presidential debates and a program to analyze product reviews. He has a B.S. in Computer Science from Yale University.

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