This afternoon, I had an email message and a phone call from my editor at Fortress. The requirements of production and marketing oblige me to propose my alternate title within twenty-four hours (actually, by now it’s down to around twenty-one).
Fortress put the project together under the name Faithful Subversion: Reading the Bible in a Postmodern World, which makes me uneasy; the “faithful” part stands to bother readers who might be attracted to “subversive” readings of the Bible, and vice versa. On the whole, I’d rather not invoke either of those words in the title.
The top half of the cover features a close-up of the central valley of an open book, over a flipped and reversed-out negative copy of the same image (on the lower half). Laura points out that this design “is looking for a two-word phrase that contains a paradox or other kind of surprising juxtaposition,” and I think she’s quite right. I tried Walk This Way on my editor, and he felt (and I agree) that it just doesn’t look quite right.
So the minutes are ticking away. Readers who know the kinds of thing I’m probably writing about, please rack your brains to help me out on this. I’m inclined to ask that the subtitle be changed to “Reasoning Biblically in a Postmodern World,” but apart from a title, the subtitle doesn’t matter much. A combination of “Interpreting” or “Meaning” or “Signifying” with something else would be especially welcome. I’ve had a project in mind for a long time which I’d expected to call “Representing the Truth”; maybe that title would work here. If I used my envisagted-future title for this book, it would make the second time I’ve had to draw on a title from a prospective work to identify an actual work; the publishers of my first book chose Making Sense of New Testament Theology as the title, when I had been hoping to save that for a later, different book.
If you can offer any help at this stage, please speak up (even if I don’t take your suggestion, it may jar loose the title I’m looking for from the logjam in my brain).