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Lamenting The Loss Of Lament, The Language For Our Times

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Chapter Summary

This chapter describes particular cases of lamenting in the Hebrew Bible and explores expressions of lament relating to tragic events in modern world history articulated through music or various protest actions. The loss of lament in mainline Christianity is lamented, for lamenting is healing and South Africa, as well as the world at large, is in dire need of healing. The kind of lament addressed in the chapter is indeed a form of mourning, but not about death, not for a purpose, but an existential wail as primal as a childs need to cry. Lamenting was integral to Israels relationship with God. Israel lamented national as well as personal disasters and their lament was honest, candid and bold. The chapter attempts to reread sections of the book of Lamentations in the light of the contemporary experience of bewailing mothers at the Tiananmen Square Massacre of 1989.

Keywords: Hebrew Bible; Lamentations; South Africa; Tiananmen square

10.1163/ej.9789004171046.i-286.87
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