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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

Arguing with God: A Theological Anthropology of the Psalms
Janowski, Bernd
Siedlecki, Armin, translator

Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2013 pp. xxii + 430. $70.00



Description: This is the first English translation of Bernd Janowski's incisive anthropological study of the Psalms, originally published in German in 2003 as Konfliktgespräche mit Gott. Eine Anthropologie der Psalmen (Neukirchener). Janowski begins with an introduction to Old Testament anthropology, concentrating on themes of being forsaken by God, enmity, legal difficulties, and sickness. Each chapter defines a problem and considers it in relation to anthropological insights from related fields of study and a thematically relevant example from the Psalms, including how a central aspect of this Psalm is explored in other Old Testament or Ancient Near Eastern texts. Each chapter concludes with an "Anthropological Keyword," which explores especially important words and phrases in the Psalms. The book also includes reflections on reading the Psalms from a New Testament perspective, focusing on themes of transience, praising God, salvation from death, and trust in God. Janowski's study demonstrates how the Psalms have important theological implications and ultimately help us to understand what it means to be human.

Subjects: Bible, Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Writings, Literature, Methods, Social-Scientific Approaches, Anthropology, Theological Approaches, Psalms

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Review by Walter Moberly
Published 7/5/2015
Citation: Walter Moberly, review of Bernd Janowski, Arguing with God: A Theological Anthropology of the Psalms, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2015).


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