Chapter 2 Hebrew Laments in the Light of Mesopotamian Material

In: The Legacy, Life and Work of Geo Widengren and the Study of the History of Religions after World War II
Göran Eidevall
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Strictly speaking, Geo Widengren was not a biblical scholar. He never held an academic position within an exegetical discipline. Nevertheless, he made several important contributions to the field of biblical studies in general, and to Old Testament/ Hebrew Bible exegesis in particular. In this chapter, I discuss some key factors that enabled Widengren, being an expert within history of religion, to attain a rather prominent position within the exegetical guild, such as the academic milieu in Uppsala and the discovery of ancient Ugarit. Arguably, though, the most important factor was Widengren’s ability to combine these two disciplines in a fruitful way. In all the works discussed in this chapter, he consistently applied comparative methodology from the history of religion in order to throw new light on biblical texts. As regards the latter, he tended to prefer laments from the book of Psalms.

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