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Verbum et Ecclesia

On-line version ISSN 1609-9982

Abstract

GERICKE, Jaco W.. What is it like to be a god? A philosophical clarification of instances of divine suffering in the Psalter. Verbum Eccles. (Online) [online]. 2012, vol.33, n.1, pp. 1-6. ISSN 1609-9982.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/ve.v33i1.700.

There are times when one would like to hang the whole human race, and finish the farce. (Mark Twain) In philosophy of religion, there is a long history of belief that divine reality is immutable, although this has changed recently. In this article, the author takes a closer look at what some texts in the Psalms assumed about what it feels like for a god to suffer mentally. By paying attention to what is presupposed in language about negative divine emotions, the nature of mental anguish in the life of a deity is elucidated from examples in the text in which Yhwh is said to have states of mind involving anger, hate, compassion, jealousy and grief.

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