THE CONSTRUCTION OF SHAME IN THE HEBREW BIBLE: THE PROPHETIC CONTRIBUTION

Werner Lategan

Abstract


In this publication Johanna Stiebert explores the phenomenon of shame and
shame language in the Major Prophets, since shame vocabulary is the most
prevalent in these biblical books. In the introductory chapter she tries to indicate
the multi-faceted nature of shame (cultural, social, psychological – cognitive,
emotional - and physiological dimensions). Especially Scheff’s sociological study
of shame (in which he emphasises the emotional as well as the social aspect of
shame) seems to provide a useful framework for approaching the phenomenon of
shame and shame language. According to Scheff shame operates continuously, in
human interaction but also in solitude. Experienced as a compelling emotion,
shame induces conformity (23). As such, shame language could be regarded as
facilitating the impression that certain conduct should incite feelings of disgust, or
that such conduct might stigmatise an individual within his or her social group.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7833/80-0-765

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

Attribution CC BY-NC-ND 4.0


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