Cover image for The Language of Trauma in the Psalms By Danilo Verde

The Language of Trauma in the Psalms

Danilo Verde

Coming in October

$79.95 | Hardcover Edition
ISBN: 978-1-64602-290-8
Coming in October

160 pages
6" × 9"
4 b&w illustrations
2024

Critical Studies in the Hebrew Bible

The Language of Trauma in the Psalms

Danilo Verde

Over the last few decades, the field of trauma studies has shed new light on biblical texts that deal with individual and collective catastrophe. In The Language of Trauma in the Psalms, Danilo Verde advances the conversation, moving beyond the emphasis on healing that prevails in most literary trauma studies.

 

  • Description
  • Bio
Over the last few decades, the field of trauma studies has shed new light on biblical texts that deal with individual and collective catastrophe. In The Language of Trauma in the Psalms, Danilo Verde advances the conversation, moving beyond the emphasis on healing that prevails in most literary trauma studies.

Using the lens of cognitive linguistics and combining insights from trauma studies and redaction criticism, Verde explores how trauma is expressed linguistically in the book of Psalms, how trauma-related language was rooted in ancient Israel’s external realities, and how psalms helped define Yehud’s cultural trauma in the Persian period (539–331 BCE). Rather than assuming the psalmists’ personal experiences are reflected in these texts, Verde focuses on the linguistic strategies used to express trauma in the Psalms, especially references to the body and highly dramatic metaphors. Current analyses often approach trauma texts as tools intended to help sufferers heal. Verde contends that many group laments in the book of Psalms were transmitted not only to heal but also to wound the community, ensuring that the pain of a previous generation was not forgotten.

The Language of Trauma in the Psalms shifts our understanding of trauma in biblical texts and will appeal to literary trauma scholars as well as those interested in ancient Israel.

Danilo Verde is Postdoctoral Researcher at the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies, KU Leuven. He is the author of Conquered Conquerors: Love and War in the Song of Songs and coeditor of Networks of Metaphors in the Hebrew Bible and Cultural Hegemony, Ideological Conflicts, and Power in Second Temple Judaism.