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HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies

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A canonical-literary reading of Lamentations 5

S Kang, PM Venter

Abstract


This article presents a canonical and literary reading of Lamentations 5 in the context of the book of Lamentations as a whole. Following the approach by Vanhoozer (1998, 2002) based on speech-act theory, the meaning of Scripture is sought at canonical level, supervening the basic literary level.
In Lamentations, as polyphonic poetic text, the speaking voices form a very important key for the interpretation of the text. In the polyphonic text of Lamentations, the shifting of the speaking voices occurs between Lamentations 1 and 4. Lamentations 5 is monologic. The theories of Bakhtin (1984) are also used to understand the book of Lamentations. In this book, chapter 5 forms the climax where Jerusalem cries to God. We cannot, however, fi nd God’s answer to this call in Lamentations;
we can fi nd it only within the broader text of the Christian canon.



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