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Verbum et Ecclesia

On-line version ISSN 2074-7705
Print version ISSN 1609-9982

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



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





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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