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Title: The Psalter as an anthology designed to be memorized
Author: Lee, Seong Hye
ISNI:       0000 0004 2722 4637
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2011
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Many scholars have given their attention to the unity of the Psalter in recent years. This study argues that the Psalter is an anthology designed to be memorized which strengthens the argument for its unity. The thesis begins by showing the significance of Sacred Reading and its application in the memorization of Sacred Texts. This is followed by a discussion of the practice of memorization of primary ancient religious texts in four different traditions: Rabbinic literature, including the Torah (written Torah, oral Torah) in Jewish Tradition; Homeric poems, Iliad and Odyssey, in Ancient Greek tradition; the Qur'an in Islamic Tradition; and Vedas in Hindu Tradition. This study continues with a look at Griffith's argument on the definition of an anthology and explores examples as indications of arrangement and memorization of the texts from the Buddhist tradition in India and the Christian tradition in North Africa. The Psalter itself is discussed as an ancient Sacred Text in order to see what evidence it displays of being an anthology. This includes the significance of the literary aspects of the psalms and the arrangement of the Psalter which could be related to the memorization of the Psalter. The study moves into exploring the actual text of the Psalter by focusing on various devices of repetitions (inclusion, chiasmus, diptych, parallelism, word play and key words) which could constitute evidence that the Psalter is intended to be memorized. In particular, eight acrostic psalms (psalms 9/10, 25, 34, 37, 111, 112, 119 and 145) are analyzed in light of this clear distinctive feature which would help memorizing the Psalter. Selected individual psalms (paired psalms: psalms 42-43, 65-66, 103-104 and 105- 106) and group psalms including the Psalms of Ascents (Pss 120-134) and Hallelujah psalms (Pss 146-150) are investigated in order to demonstrate internal coherence of the Psalter. The final section of the study looks at the evidence for the overall arrangement of the Psalter and its significant features. The study discusses the particular arrangement of the Psalter, including the significance of the superscriptions of the psalms, introduction of the Psalter (Pss 1 and 2), endings of the five books (doxologies) and the arrangement of the Psalter (the division and thematic connections). This study shows that the overall design of the final form of the Psalter may facilitate readers/reciters in understanding the Psalter as an anthology designed to be memorized.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available