The Hesed and Rahamim of God as resources of hope in contexts of individual and communal loss : a multi-dimensional reading of Lamentations

Muriwo, Golden (2017-03)

Thesis (PhD)--Stellenbosch University, 2017.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This dissertation argues for the existence of hope in the book of Lamentations. Although on the surface the picture presented seems to be that of gloom, an analysis of the literary features points to the central part of the book as the peak of the theology of Lamentations. In that central part four Hebrew words are used to express this hope. Once this ray of hope has been lit, it is not quenched by the incessant agony of suffering. It shines throughout the entire remaining laments. This hope is based on a reflection of the hesed and rahamim of God. The hesed and rahamim of God, which are taken as resources for the generation of hope, are studied diachronically and synchronically. It is revealed in this study that the hesed and rahamim of God are social, active and enduring. This is then contrasted to the anger of God, which is temporal. Through a multidimensional analysis of the text of Lamentations, it is also revealed in this dissertation that the book is atemporal and ahistorical. The atemporal and ahistorical nature of Lamentations enhances its portability to other contexts of suffering beyond that of its inception. However, in order to do this responsibly, the author advocates for an analogous reading that recognises the continuities and discontinuities within the various contexts. This work finally brings the Judean context of suffering into dialogue with the Zimbabwean context of suffering. Some useful parallels are then drawn with the aim of offering lasting hope, healing, and identity and dignity construction to victims of Gukurahundi, Murambatsvina and Hondo yeminda.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie verhandeling voer aan dat daar hoop in die boek van Klaagliedere bestaan. Oppervlakkig gesien is die prentjie wat aangebied word dié van wanhoop, maar ’n ontleding van die literêre kenmerke dui aan dat die sentrale deel van die boek die hoogtepunt van die teologie van Klaagliedere is. In dié sentrale deel word vier Hebreeuse woorde gebruik om hoop uit te druk. Wanneer hierdie ligstraal van hoop eers begin flikker, word dit nie deur die gedurige lyding uitgedoof nie. Die grondslag vir die hoop is ’n reflektiewe beskouing van die hesed en rahamim van God. Die hesed en rahamim van God wat as bronne vir die skep van hoop gesien word, word diachronies en sinchronies ondersoek. Volgens hierdie studie is die hesed en rahamim van God sosiaal, aktief en blywend. Dit word in teenstelling gestel met die gramskap van God, wat tydelik is. Deur ’n meerdimensionele ontleding van die Klaagliedere-teks argumenteer hierdie verhandeling ook dat die boek atemporeel en ahistories is. Die atemporele en ahistoriese aard van Klaagliedere versterk die draaglikheid daarvan vergeleke met ander lydingskontekste wat nie verby die oorsprong daarvan vorder nie. Om te verseker die proses vind op ’n verantwoordbare manier plaas, moedig die outeur ’n analoë lees aan wat die kontinuïteite en diskontinuïteite binne die onderskeie kontekste erken. Hierdie werk bring uiteindelik die Judese konteks van lyding in dialoog met die Zimbabwiese lydingskonteks. Daar word ’n paar nuttige parallelle getrek met die doel om blywende hoop, genesing, identiteit, en waardigheid, aan die slagoffers van Gukurahundi, Murambatsvina en Hondo yeminda te verleen.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/101111
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