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