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date: 22 January 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Lamentations uses distinct voices to explore the suffering caused by the destruction of Jerusalem and exile of her people. A dialogical approach to the book emphasizes the theological tension created as the poet considers the fate of Israel’s relationship with Yahweh. This dialogue is carried on at multiple levels, within the text itself, over against the silenced divine voice, between Lamentations and other books in the biblical canon, and between the text and its later interpreters. Utilizing the language of prayer and drawing on the divine name, Lamentations centers on the question of God’s continued presence with the Israel. A faithful rendering and reception of Lamentations attends to the multiple voices of the text, respects and provides place for their varied perspectives and contributions, identifies and engages with the community they address and of which they are a part, maintains space for an unspeaking God, and guards the open-ended question which is at the heart of this troubling exchange.

Keywords: Lamentations, lament, dialogical approach, literary/theological, voice, presence, name

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