Preaching the Pentateuch : reading Jeremiah’s sermons through the lens of cultural trauma
CITATION: Claassens, L. J. 2017. Preaching the Pentateuch : reading Jeremiah’s sermons through the lens of cultural trauma. Scriptura, 116(2):27-37, doi:10.7833/116-2-1313.
The original publication is available at http://scriptura.journals.ac.za
This article seeks to investigate the rhetorical function of Jeremiah’s Temple, Covenant and Sabbath Sermons against the backdrop of cultural trauma. I propose that the three sermons found in Jeremiah 7, 11:1-14 and 17:19-27 provide a good illustration of what is understood under the notion of cultural trauma according to which one or more of the public intellectuals of the time seeks to offer an interpretative framework that is focused on making sense of the calamity that threatened to destroy not only the community itself, but also everything they regarded to be sacred and true. By means of these three sermons, Jeremiah is reminding the people of Judah once again of the important tenets of their faith such as the Temple, the Covenant and the Sabbath as found predominantly in the Pentateuch. By ‘preaching’ on Judah’s earlier traditions, the prophet reconstitutes these ancient customs in a new way in an attempt to rebuild the fractured community.