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Old Testament Essays

versión On-line ISSN 2312-3621
versión impresa ISSN 1010-9919

Old testam. essays vol.21 no.1 Pretoria  2008

 

Lament, the language for our times1

 

 

Frances Klopper

University of the Free State

Correspondence

 

 


ABSTRACT

Lament has many faces. The kind of lament addressed in this paper is indeed a form of mourning but not about death, not for a purpose, but an existential wail as primal as a child's need to cry. Through the ages it was a way of bearing the unbearable, a supremely human need. In Israel it was integral to the people's relationship with God. The paper discusses particular cases of lament in the Hebrew Bible as well as expressions of lament during painful moments in our world history. Lamenting is healing and the need for healing is paramount the world over, therefore the loss of lament in Western culture is lamentable.


 

 

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BIBLIOGRAPHY

Ackermann, D. M. 1998. 'Take up a taunt song': Women, lament and healing in South Africa, in Lagerwerf, L. (ed.), Reconstruction, 133-150. Zoetermeer: Meinema.         [ Links ]

Ackermann, D. M. 2001. Tamar's cry: Rereading an ancient text in the midst of an HIV/AIDS pandemic. Ecumenical Foundation of Southern Africa (EFSA).         [ Links ]

Ackermann, D. M. 2003. After the Locusts: Letters from a landscape of faith. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans.         [ Links ]

Brenner, A. 2005. I am... Biblical women tell their stories. Minneapolis: Fortress.         [ Links ]

Brueggemann, W. 1984. A Shape for Old Testament Theology, II: Embrace of Pain. CBQ 47, 395-415.         [ Links ]

Katzenelsen, Y. 1989. 'The Song of the Murdered Jews', in Roskies, D. J. (ed.), The Literature of Destruction: Jewish Responses to Catastrophe, 531-547. Philadelphia: The Jewish Publication Society.         [ Links ]

Landman, C. 2007. Só kan die Kerk Vroue Gesond maak. By 29 Des 2007, 6.         [ Links ]

Lee, A. C. C. 2005. Mothers bewailing: Reading Lamentations, in Vander Stichele, C. & Penner, T. (eds), Her master's tools? Feminist and postcolonial engagements of historical-critical discourse. Atlanta: SBL, 195-209.         [ Links ]

Linafelt, T. 2000. Zion's Cause: The Presentation of Pain in the Book of Lamentations, in Linafelt, T. (ed.), Strange Fire: Reading the Bible after the Holocaust, 267-279. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press.         [ Links ]

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O'Connor, K. M. 1998. Jeremiah, in Newsom C. A. & Ringe, S. H. (eds), Women's Bible Commentary, 178-186. Louisville: Westminster John Knox.         [ Links ]

O'Connor, K. M. 1998. Lamentations, in Newsom C. A. & Ringe, S. H. (eds), Women's Bible Commentary, 187-191. Louisville: Westminster John Knox.         [ Links ]

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Roskies, D. J. (ed.), The Literature of Destruction: Jewish Responses to Catastrophe. Philadelphia: The Jewish Publication Society.         [ Links ]

Sölle, D. 1975. Suffering. Philadelphia: Fortress.         [ Links ]

Westermann, C. 1994. Lamentations: Issues and Interpretation. Minneapolis: Fortress.         [ Links ]

Wismer, P. L. 1995. For Women in Pain: A Feminist Theology of Suffering, in O' Hara Graff, A. (ed.) Feminist Approaches to Theological Anthropology, 138-158. New York: Orbis.         [ Links ]

 

 

Correspondence:
Frances Klopper
Department of Afroasiatic Studies
Sign Language & Language Practice
University of the Free State, PO Box 339, Bloemfontein 9300, South Africa
E-mail: klopper5@mweb.co.za

 

 

1 Paper delivered at the Annual Meeting of the OTSSA, Pretoria, 22-24 August 2007. The research is funded by a Thuthuka Postdoctoral grant of the South African National Research Foundation. Any opinion, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author and the NRF does not accept any liability in regard thereto

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