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THE TRIUMPH OF THE LAMB: PSALM 23 AND TEXTUAL FITNESS

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Psalm 23 is a remarkable text in its longevity and its permeation of contemporary cultures and in the number of versions in which it circulates. This paper takes it as a pre-eminent example of a 'successful' text in the sense this term is used in neo-Darwinian studies. Richard Dawkins' concept of the meme is used to examine the features of the psalm which ensure both its propagation and its diversity. The polysemy of the metaphor of the lamb is central to this. The text survives, it is argued, because it is is read as offering different models of survival to a variety of reading communities.

Affiliations: 1: University of Leeds

10.1163/15685150152695281
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/content/journals/10.1163/15685150152695281
2001-10-01
2016-12-07

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