"Krossa dem mot klippan"?! - Exegetiska och pastorala perspektiv på Psaltarens så kallade förbannelsepsalmer
Sammanfattning: This thesis explores the currently most common ways of exegetically approaching the so called Imprecatory psalms, based on post WWII commentaries regarding Ps 58, 109, 137 and 139 – all known for their harsh language. Imprecations are seldom included in modern Christian worship – exemplified by (for example) the Roman-Catholic prayer book Liturgy of the Hours (1970) where several psalms have been omitted or edited due to their content. For example; Ps. 137 and 139 have had verses removed while Ps. 58 and 109 have been completely omitted. Although imprecatory psalms are seldom used for service and prayer they still pose questions that need to be addressed by teachers and preachers. For instance; Ps. 137 is seldom read as prayer (at its full length) but many know its wording and find it hard to comprehend. How can these imprecatory psalms be explained and can they in any way be relevant for the Church and its community? These two questions are addressed in this thesis. In a comparative study of commentaries on Ps. 58, 109, 137 and 139 it becomes clear what strategies are most frequently used in present day exegesis when imprecations in the Book of Psalms are explained, regarding both content and relevance for modern readers. In the later part of the thesis these common ways of exegetically explaining the imprecatory psalms are reviewed from a pastoral and liturgical point of view – i.e. from a more practical point of view. The results reveal that one of the most common ways of explaining the imprecatory psalms (i.e. as psalms about justice) create certain problems in a liturgical context. The need for a definition of “justice” in these cases becomes evident for the explanations to be fully meaningful. Apart from that this survey reveals that modern exegesis in many ways can contribute to the current questions and needs of the Church and its pastoral care for its community in a positive way.
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