THE DIALECTIC OF HUMAN DIGNITY AND HUMAN FINITUDE IN THE PSALMS AND THE WISDOM LITERATURE

Douglas Lawrie

Abstract



The creation stories in Genesis, when read together, suggest that humans are marked by
both dignity and finitude or frailty. This same dialectic appears paradigmatically in Psalm
8 and, it is argued, also in the rest of the Psalter. In spite of the major difference in
perspective, the same anthropology is presupposed in Proverbs. In a section of Job and in
Qoheleth, however, there are attempts to dissolve the dialectic. In the culmination of his
argument, Job speaks of a form of human dignity that stands apart from human frailty; in
Qoheleth human frailty eclipses human dignity. It is argued that the main line in the Old
Testament maintains the dialectical tension and that Christian theologians should do
likewise. Theologically one should indeed go further and speak of human queenship and
sinfulness. The paper ends by suggesting than room should also be left for forms of human
indignity that stand apart from finitude and sinfulness.

Keywords


Dignity, Finitude, Psalm 8, Job, Ecclesiastes

Full Text:

PDF


DOI: https://doi.org/10.7833/105-0-161

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.



ISSN 2305-445X (online); ISSN 0254-1807 (print)

Attribution CC BY-NC-ND 4.0


Powered by OJS and hosted by Stellenbosch University Library and Information Service since 2013.


Disclaimer:

This journal is hosted by the SU LIS on request of the journal owner/editor. The SU LIS takes no responsibility for the content published within this journal, and disclaim all liability arising out of the use of or inability to use the information contained herein. We assume no responsibility, and shall not be liable for any breaches of agreement with other publishers/hosts.

SUNJournals Help