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Title: Torah and Psalms : reading Psalms 1, 19 and 119 as indicative of a torah hermeneutic in the Psalter
Author: Maher, John Kieran
ISNI:       0000 0004 7973 1809
Awarding Body: Durham University
Current Institution: Durham University
Date of Award: 2019
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This work seeks to establish the presence of a "torah movement" in the Psalter through a reading of Psalms 1, 19 and 119. It situates itself in the tradition that sees a shaping of the Psalter for personal study and devotion, but it also respects the insights of earlier genre- and worship- focused exegesis. A survey of samples of recent research establishes the currents of study on the Psalter, from historical reconstructions of date and author to the genrebased insights of Gunkel and the worship settings of the Mowinckel School. It then traces more recent study (Childs, Wilson, McCann) which seeks to understand the shaping of the Psalter and the move from "performance" to private study and devotion. This work seeks to establish categorizations of the "torah movement" as exemplified in these psalms, particularly what each of these psalms might contribute to the understanding of this movement. Each psalm is examined in terms of its genre, literary analysis and its canonical relations. Psalm 1 is recognized as an entrée into the Psalter and the categorization of "didactic piety" of the torah movement is proposed. Ps 19 offers a categorization of "creational interpretation," whereby the torah is understood as the interpreter of the unheard voice of creation. Ps 119 offers a possibility for "unmediated torah reception," whereby torah is seen to offer guidance for the ethical and spiritual life of the individual in a personal and immediate manner. In a final moment, the manner in which this torah movement, as exemplified in these three psalms, serves as a hermeneutic for the reading of the Psalter is examined. Framed within the format of the reproductive, explicative and normative interpretations which this hermeneutic offers, a number of psalms are examined in order to ascertain how this hermeneutic might function and where it enriches their interpretation. Understanding how the Psalter can be read under the guidance of the angel torah allows for a sense of eschatological thrust, security and ultimately the memory of praise.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available