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date: 17 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The question of genre in the 20th century initiated the modern study of the Psalms. Hermann Gunkel’s work at the turn of the century, particularly his delineation of literary types of psalms, continues to influence how scholars interpret these texts. This article explores the form-critical approach to the Psalms, outlines their literary genres, and considers the question of genre in contemporary Psalms interpretation. It discusses the works of Gunkel, the progenitor of form criticism in biblical studies, Gunkel’s student Sigmund Mowinckel, and Claus Westermann. It also looks at the distinction between psalms of praise and psalms of lament.

Keywords: Psalms, Hermann Gunkel, form-critical approach, literary genres, Sigmund Mowinckel, Claus Westermann, praise, lament

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