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A Contextual and Cross-cultural Study of Psalm 109

Authors:  Egwim S.C.

Year: 2011
ISBN: 978-90-429-2468-0
Pages: XX-399 p.
Price: 68 EURO

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The present work is an attempt to better understand Psalm 109 in relation to its curse content and the ambiguity surrounding the speaker. The psalm appears somewhat out of the ordinary – the curse elements seem to be out of proportion and give the impression of being imported or inserted. As such, it presents exegetes with a variety of challenges. At the same time, the multiplicity of interpretations Psalm 109 has acquired in the history of exegesis reveals a great deal about the way we read and about the conscious and unconscious elements that colour and direct our reading, especially the mental constructs we acquire through our different cultures, languages, ideological stances or social locations, all of which give rise to different understandings of a text, while defining the context of each understanding or interpretation.
By means of an interdisciplinary approach that focuses on the contextual and cross-cultural, the work reveals Psalm 109 to be the product of a typically human theistic behaviour that arises when one is confronted with a threat to one’s life and well-being. The work brings to the fore the cultural constructs woven into the text by its author, upon which basis the psalm is to be understood both within its culture and across cultures.

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