Browsing by Author "Ruark, Joel D."
Now showing 1 - 2 of 2
Results Per Page
- ItemThe theological significance of light (אור) in the Old Testament : an applied cognitive linguistic study(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2017-03) Ruark, Joel D.; Jonker, Louis C.; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Theology. Dept. of Old and New Testament.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Even a casual reading of the Old Testament demonstrates that the ancient Israelite writers clearly conceived of some kind of conceptual relationship between light and YHWH. Theologians disagree concerning its precise nature, however, advocating anything from a simple metaphorical relationship with no metaphysical meaning to a full ontological equivalency of YHWH (primitively, as a sun-god) and the sun. The thesis applies the principles of cognitive semantics to the lexeme אור (light) in Biblical Hebrew and develops a working hypothesis of the conceptual relationship between light and YHWH in the ancient Israelite cognitive environment. After constructing a cognitive model of the lexeme אור in Biblical Hebrew, the thesis then tests this model and its derived conclusions against theological writings concerning light in the interpretive history of the Old Testament, with special focus on contributions made in the last fifty years. This comparative investigation seeks to determine how the recent developments of cognitive linguistic theory either confirm or correct previous understandings of the theological significance of light in Old Testament literature. On the basis of testing this cognitive model of light, the thesis proposes a working hypothesis concerning the relationship between light and YHWH in the ancient Israelite conceptual world and delineates a set of methodological principles for a future study to develop a more precise and fully articulated theology of light in the Old Testament. The concluding chapter explores the implications of both the cognitive model of light and the academic discipline of cognitive linguistics within Old Testament studies and the broader theological landscape.
- ItemToward an Old Testament theology of light : from physical concept to metaphysical analogy(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2019-12) Ruark, Joel D.; Jonker, Louis C.; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Theology. Dept. of Old and New Testament.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The rise of Cognitive Linguistics as an academic discipline in the last fifty years has spawned a new chapter in linguistic approches to biblical theology. This dissertation utilizes the cognitive theories of embodied cognition and conceptual metaphor theory––both of which are foundational to cognitive lexical semantics––to analyze the referential and metaphorical uses of lexical terms for light in Biblical Hebrew and to propose a consistent and coherent cognitive model that fits the textual evidence within the Old Testament. The Old Testament uses the physical concept of light to conceptualize the abstract concepts of both WISDOM and LIFE, with YHWH as the common and determinative conceptual element. Furthermore, the use of both nominal and verbal concepts suggests the cognitive metaphor YHWH IS SELF-GENERATING LIGHT as an operative theological axiom in the ancient Israelite conceptual world underlying the Old Testament text. This dissertation then conducts a typological analysis of the referential and metaphorical use of light in ancient Israelite culture in comparison with other ancient Near Eastern literature and iconography. While numerous conceptual congruities can be seen among the various cultures, many attestations of the metaphorical use of light in the ancient Near Eastern material can be explained via the conceptual metaphor POWER IS RADIANCE, a metaphor conspicuously absent from the Old Testament. Rather, the Old Testament utilizes the metaphors WISDOM IS LIGHT and LIFE IS LIGHT but always avoids the POWER IS RADIANCE metaphor, even when discussing concepts such as lightning or salvation which necessarily involve the expression of divine power. A conceptual analysis of the lexical data in the Old Testament consistently and coherently displays the conceptual metaphor YHWH IS SELF-GENERATING LIGHT as a genuine metaphysical analogy, yielding a cluster of theological concepts. Light theology in the Old Testament is cataphatic, revealing the omni-temporal sovereignty of YHWH. Light theology in the Old Testament is also dialectical, revealing YHWH in his efficience yet concealing YHWH in his essence. The beneficent nature of this efficience in the physical world reveals the fundamental goodness of YHWH. Finally, light theology in the Old Testament heralds the establishment of YHWH's immanent physical presence in the cosmos during the eschatological age, but falls short of expounding either an incarnational revelation of, or a sacramental participation in, YHWH's divine efficience.