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Verbum et Ecclesia

On-line version ISSN 1609-9982

Verbum Eccles. (Online) vol.33 n.1 Pretoria  2012

http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/ve.v33i1.700 

ORIGINAL RESEARCH

 

What is it like to be a god? A philosophical clarification of instances of divine suffering in the Psalter

 

 

Jaco W. Gericke

School of Basic Sciences, Faculty of Humanities, North-West University, South Africa

Correspondence

 

 


ABSTRACT

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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