Job 28: Cognition in Context

Job 28: Cognition in Context

Job 28: Cognition in Context

Job 28: Cognition in Context

Synopsis

This volume deals with the song of wisdom in Job 28 as it is analysed by scholars in biblical exegesis, Hebrew lexicography and cognitive linguistics. A colloquium (organised by the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, Amsterdam 2002) of experts in these three disciplines showed that exploring the common ground is worthwhile. The proceedings of this conference presented here, under the title Job 28. Cognition in Context not only indicate the possibilities of Hebrew semantics and cognitive approaches to the Hebrew Bible but rather severely expose the unsatisfactory simplicity with which the bifurcation of so-called historical and literary approaches to or readings of the biblical text is still regarded in the exegetical disciplines.

Excerpt

On two bright spring days in Amsterdam, April 2002, not far away from the red light district, the drug scene, and people living on the edge, on the premises of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, scholars from three research areas met to discuss the topic of cognitive linguistics, Hebrew semantics, and biblical studies of the book of Job. This prestigious institute, founded in 1808 and housed in an edifice with a neoclassical temple-like facade that hides a labyrinth of spaces, rooms, and offices, has a long historical development, and is in itself a metaphor of science and art. in the wood-timbered rooms, where once Rembrandt's Nightwatch hung, and now pictures of famous scientists representing Dutch faces and views on knowledge and wisdom, Academy Colloquia are held to stimulate discussions in the front line of new scientific and scholarly developments. Although the style of the place does not show it, its location is justified: the meetings and discussions that take place inside represent a life under the volcano almost as much as outside.

Thus, on the Academy Colloquium [The Book of Job: Suffering and Cognition in Context', a lava stream of new concepts and ideas from cognitive linguistics rolled over the biblical scholars. Discussion flourished and new insights were explored. the song of wisdom in Job 28, the chapter the colloquium focussed on, has as its main question [Wisdom, where can it be found?], but, sadly, it cannot be answered with: [in Amsterdam, in the Academy of Sciences]. However, the question of [Who can seriously discuss it?], can positively be answered: the cognitive linguists with their knowledge of how people conceptualise and relate to their conceptual worlds, the classical Hebrew lexicographers and linguists with their knowledge of the language and its semantic values, and the biblical scholars who are experienced in the human struggle for meaning and for understanding biblical texts. the premise of this conference and of this book is that all three disciplines are needed to get a glimpse of this quest for wisdom and to understand a little bit more about the interaction of language, cognition, biblical texts in general, and the book of Job in particular.

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