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Law for what ails the heart: Moral frailty in Psalm 86


Lasater, Phillip Michael (2015). Law for what ails the heart: Moral frailty in Psalm 86. Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft, 127(4):652-668.

Abstract

Psalm 86 is a text that displays intertextual engagement with Exodus 32–34 and Jeremiah 30–33, both of which are older than the psalm. In studies of Psalm 86, a neglected issue is its anthropology, particularly the notion of the »divided heart«, which, according to the psalmist, is an ethical and theological problem that can only be solved by receiving instruction from Yhwh – an instruction that can »unify« the divided heart. By paying attention to the psalmist’s application and reworking of older texts, as well as to the Rabbinic reception of Psalm 86, one can see how this text is part of an exilic and post-exilic conversation about human sinfulness as a flaw in human nature that impairs moral agency.

Abstract

Psalm 86 is a text that displays intertextual engagement with Exodus 32–34 and Jeremiah 30–33, both of which are older than the psalm. In studies of Psalm 86, a neglected issue is its anthropology, particularly the notion of the »divided heart«, which, according to the psalmist, is an ethical and theological problem that can only be solved by receiving instruction from Yhwh – an instruction that can »unify« the divided heart. By paying attention to the psalmist’s application and reworking of older texts, as well as to the Rabbinic reception of Psalm 86, one can see how this text is part of an exilic and post-exilic conversation about human sinfulness as a flaw in human nature that impairs moral agency.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:01 Faculty of Theology > Institute of Theology
08 University Research Priority Programs > Asia and Europe
Dewey Decimal Classification:950 History of Asia
180 Ancient, medieval & eastern philosophy
Language:English
Date:12 December 2015
Deposited On:27 Apr 2016 16:20
Last Modified:08 Dec 2017 19:25
Publisher:De Gruyter
ISSN:0044-2526
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1515/zaw-2015-0036

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