Grammar of death in the Psalms with reference to motion as conceptual metaphor

Berković, Danijel (2016) Grammar of death in the Psalms with reference to motion as conceptual metaphor. PhD thesis, Middlesex University. [Thesis]

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The purpose of this study is to determine what relationship, if any, exists between the verbs of motion and emotion and the language of death in the Psalms. Such motionemotion verbal pair we describe as motion-emotion axis. This will endorse that motion vocabulary in the Psalter is often found in the vicinity of emotion words.

The principal premise of this thesis is that death is one of the chief motifs in the Psalter, while we distinguish between the idea of motif and that of a theme. Subsequently we maintain that death motif is underlined by thanatophobic emotional predicaments of the psalmist.

The following questions and issues arise in the examinations of this work. One of the important investigations is exploring some of the key issues in psalmodic studies, particularly in relation to the inquiries of the identity of the psalmist as a private individual; and that in the context of his personal experience of distress, in face of death threats. This will be some kind of referential points, as we develop our central thesis objectives. Secondly, we will investigate questions and issues of religious language and prayer as one of the focal points in expressions of the psalmist’s experience and emotions. Thirdly, an ever-present and an intriguing question of the psalmist’s sudden mood changes, which often appear within a single Psalm, can hardly be avoid, and this issue will be followed up throughout the dissertation. Fourthly and finally, the central subject we examine here is motion as a concept relative to motional vocabulary and how it relates to the psalmist’s experiential and emotional dimension. The end of the thesis is broader examination of the realms of death and incorporates four aspects of death in biblical context (grave, silence, name, dust and depths).

The plan of investigation begins with describing the thesis objectives with the scope of psalmodic texts; giving an overview of previous studies, particularly of Form-critical traditions. This follows with surveying relevant psalmodic texts, in accordance to the following general criteria we ought to: (1) pay attention to thanatophobic motifs in the Psalter, observing the fact that death motif in the Psalter is associated with not only the lamental and complaint Psalms, as one might expect, (2) examine the relationship in the motion-emotion axis in the psalmist’s experience of the spatial dimension (motion in conceptual space, heaven-Sheol).

The following general conclusions and contributions are indicated. The verbs of motion in general, are very sparsely investigated in the biblical literature, hardly at all in the context of the Psalms; and not at all as the motion-emotion axis in the thanatophobic experiences of the psalmist. The work has shown that in literary and linguistic terms (grammar of death) there is an exceptional presence of motional vocabulary and phraseology associated with the Psalmist's emotional turmoils in thanatophobic situations. The last chapter is assigned to examine five suggested realms of death in bibliucal texts which are most commonly found (grave, silence, name, dust and depths).

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Research Areas: B. > Theses
C. Collaborative Partners > Oxford Centre for Mission Studies
A. > School of Law
Item ID: 20800
Depositing User: Users 5077 not found.
Date Deposited: 24 Oct 2016 15:11
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2022 21:40

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