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Original Research

Liggaamsimbolisering in Psalm 38

J.H. Coetzee

Verbum et Ecclesia; Skrif en Kerk: Vol 21, No 3 (2000), . doi: 10.4102/ve.v21i3.637

Submitted: 11 August 2000
Published:  11 August 2000


Symbolism of the human body in Psalm 38
Symbolization of a sick body in an ancient Israelite cultic prayer is the focus of this investigation. This rhetorical strategy aims at creating viable circumstances for survival of the "person" involved in the rhetorical situation. The social and religious environment in which the rhetor experiences his body is one of hostility. The supplicant, deprived of his status in society, symbolizes numerous parts of his body in an extremely negative manner, creating a "dys-appearing" depiction of his body which relates to his negative perceptions and symbolization of society and of God (social and religious bodies). The relevance of this prayer for today lies in the fact that body symbolism provides a means of identification to any- "body" in a similar or related situation to the one described in the psalm.

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Author affiliations

J.H. Coetzee, Randse Afrikaanse Universiteit, South Africa


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ISSN: 1609-9982 (print) | ISSN: 2074-7705 (online)

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