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TRANSFORMATION S I N ANCIEN T O F TH E INNE R SEL F RELIGION S
TRANSFORMATION S
I N ANCIEN T
O F
TH E
INNE R
SEL F
RELIGION S
STUDIE S I N TH E HISTOR Y O F RELIGION S (NUMENBOOK SERIES ) EDITE
STUDIE S
I N TH E HISTOR Y O F RELIGION S
(NUMENBOOK
SERIES )
EDITE D
B Y
H.G .
KIPPENBER G
·
E.T .
LAWSO N
VOLUM E
LXXXII I
'68׳ V
TRANSFORMATION S O F TH E INNE R SELF I N ANCIEN T RELIGION S EDITE
TRANSFORMATION S O F TH E
INNE R SELF I N ANCIEN T
RELIGION S
EDITE D
B Y
J
A
N
G
U
Y
G .
ASSMAN N
A N D
STROUMS A
''68 V
BRIL L
LEIDE N · BOSTO N
־
KÖL N
199 9
Librar y o f Congres s Cataloging-in-Publicatio n Dat a Transformation s of th e inne
Librar y o f Congres s Cataloging-in-Publicatio n
Dat a
Transformation s of th e inne r self in ancien t religion s / edite d by
Ja n
Assman n
an d
Gu y
G .
p .
cm .
Stroumsa .
(Studie s in th e histor y of religions,
ISS N
0169-883 4
;
v.
83)
Include s bibliographica l reference s an d index .
ISB N 900411356 8 (cloth :
alk. paper )
1.
Conversion—Histor y of
doctrines—Congresses .
2. Purity ,
Ritual—Histor y of doctrines—Congresses .
3. Mediterranea n
Region -
-Religion—Congresses .
4 . Middl e
East—Religion—Congresses .
I.
Assmann , Jan .
II . Stroumsa
, Gedaliah u
A. G .
III. Series.
BL639.T7 3
1999
291.4'2'093—dc2 1
99-1136 2
CI P
Di e Deutsch e Bibliothe k - CIP-Einheitsaufnahm e
Transformation s o f th e inne r sel f i n ancien t religion s
/
ed .
by Ja n
Assman n an d
Gu y
G .
Stroumsa . -
Leide n ; Bosto n
; Köl n
: Brill,
1999
(Studie s in
th e histor y o f religion s
; Vol .
8 3
ISB N
90-04-11356- 8
ISS N
0169-883 4
ISB N
9 0
0 4
1135 6
8
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CONTENT S J . ASSMAN N AN D G.G . STROUMS A Introductio n 1 PAR
CONTENT S
J .
ASSMAN N
AN D
G.G .
STROUMS A
Introductio n
1
PAR T
ON E
CONFESSIO N
AN D
CONVERSIO N
FRIT Z
STOL Z
Fro m
th e
Paradig m
o f Lamen t
an d
Hearin g
t o
th e
Conversio n
Paradig m
9
J A N
ASSMAN N
Conversion ,
Piet y an d
Loyalis
m
i n Ancien t
Egyp t
3
1
ROBER T
MEYE R
Magica l Ascesi s an d
Mora l
Purit y i n Ancien
t
Egyp t
4 5
SHAU L
SHARE D
Quest s an d
Visionar y Journey s
i n Sasania n
Ira n
6 5
GER D
THEISSE N
Di e urchristlich e
Tauf e un
d
di e sozial e
Konstruktio n
de s
neue n
Mensche n
8 7
PETR A
VO N
GEMÜNDE N
Di e
urchristlich e
Tauf e un d
de r
Umgan g
mi t
de n
Affekte n
115
GIOVANN I
FILORAM O
Th e
Transformatio
n
o f
th e
Inne r
Sel f
i n
Gnosti c
an d
Hermeti c
Text s
137
SERG E
RUZE R
Th e
Deat h
Moti f i n
Not e
Lat e
Antiqu e
Teshuva Narrativ e
Patterns .
Wit h
a
o n
Roman s
5
151
G U Y G . STROUMS A Fro m Repentanc e t o Penanc e i
G U Y
G .
STROUMS A
Fro m
Repentanc e
t o Penanc e
i n
Earl y
Christianity :
Tertullian' s De paenitentia i n Contex t
167
BROURI A
BITTON-ASHKELON Y
Penitenc e
i n
Lat e Antiqu e
Monasti c
Literatur e
17
9
ANNIC K
CHARLES-SAGE T
Le s transformation s d e l a conscienc e
Augusti n
d e
soi entr e
Ploti n
e t
19
5
PAR T
TW O
GUILT ,
SI N
AN D
PURIFICATIO N
FRIT Z
STOL Z
Dimension s
an d
Transformation s o f Purificatio n
Idea s
21 1
J A N
ASSMAN N
Confessio n i n Ancien t
Egyp t
23 1
ROBER T
MEYE R
Th e
Determinatio n
o f Collectiv e
Guil t
an d
th e
Interpretatio n
o f Nationa l
Sufferin g i n
Lat e
Egyptia n
Theolog y
24 5
MOSH E
GREENBER G
Salvatio n
o f
th e
Impeniten t
ad majorem dei gloriam:
Eze k
36:16-3
2
26 3
NET A
RONE N
Wh o
Practice d
Purificatio n i n Archai c
Greece?— A
Cultura l
Profil e
27 3
PHILIPP E
BORGEAU D
Melampou s
an d
Epimenides : Tw o
Gree k
Paradigm s
o f
th e
Treatmen t
o f Mistak e
28 7
ALBER T
D E
JON G
Purificatio n
in absentia: O n
th e
Developmen t
o f
Zoroastria n
Ritua l
Practic e
30 1
CONTENT S VII JOH N SCHEI D Th e Expiatio n o f Impietie s Committe
CONTENT S
VII
JOH N
SCHEI D
Th e
Expiatio n
o f Impietie s Committe d
withou t
Intentio n
an d
th e
Formatio n
o f Roma
n
Theolog y
33 1
DANIE L
STÖK L
Yo m
Kippu r
imaginaire an d
th e
Root s
o f
Jesus '
Hig
h
i n th e Apocalypti c
Priesthoo d
34 9
SERG E
RUZE R
Th e
Sea
t
o f
Si n
i n Earl y Jewis
h
an d
Christia n
Source s
36 7
GIOVANN I
FILORAM O
Baptisma l
Nudit y
a s
a
Mean s
o f Ritua l
Purificatio n
i n
Ancien t
Christianit y
39 3
G U Y
G .
STROUMS A
Purificatio n an d
Baptis m
its Discontents : Mani' s
Rejectio n
o f
40 5
ARYE H
KOFSK Y
Aspect s
o f
Si n
i n
th e
Monasti c
Schoo l
o f
Gaz a
42 1
INTRODUCTIO N J . ASSMAN N AN D G.G . STROUMS A Fro m thei r
INTRODUCTIO N
J .
ASSMAN N
AN D
G.G .
STROUMS A
Fro m thei r earlies t form s dow n t o th e dee p transformation s the y under -
wen t
i n
lat e
antiquity ,
th e
religion s
o f
th e
Nea r
Eas t
hav e
usuall y
bee n studie d
mainl y fo r thei r
theologica l ideas . I n shar p contras t
t o
thi s
approac h
an d
particularl y
i
n
th e
las t
generation ,
th e
stud y
o
f
Gree
k
religion ,
fo r instance ,
ha s
greatl y
benefite d
fro m ne w
schol -
arl y
perspective s
tha t
emphasize d
bot h
th e
anthropologica l
dimen -
sion s o f religio n
an d
th e implication s o f theology , myt h
an d
cul t
fo
r
th e evolutio n
o f anthropologica l
conceptions .
A
s
is well
known ,
th e
birt h o f th e wester n conceptio n
o f
th
e
individua l
ha s generall y
bee n
attribute d
t o ancien t
Greece .
Th e variou s
wa s essentiall y
chapter s o f thi s volum e
ar e
th e
frui t
o f
a
projec
t
tha t
concerne d wit h aspect s o f th e anthropological ,
rathe r
tha n th e theologica l dimension s o f Nea r Easter n
an d
Mediterranea n
religions , rangin g fro m th e "primary "
religion s o f th e archai c
perio d
an d thei r comple x development s i n Egyp t an d Mesopotami
a
t o
th
e
"soteriological "
movement s
an d
"secondary "
religion s
tha t
emerge d
i n
lat e
antiquity .
Interpretiv e
an d
comparativ e
i n
nature ,
thi s
pro -
jec t
sough t
t o uncove r ne w dimension s
o f th e relationship s
betwee n
religio n
an d
culture , an d
thu s
t o bette r
understan d
th e formatio n o f
wester n anthropologica l conceptions . It is no t onl y intende d t o brin g
ne w conceptua l
an d
factua l
results ,
bu t
als o
t o
propos e
a
break -
throug h i n method . W e hop e t o hav e offere d ne w model s fo r th e
comparativ e
stud y
o f
th e
rol
e
o f religio n
i n ancien t
societies .
Recen t
entist s an d
year s hav e
philosopher s
see n
th
e remarkabl e growth ,
amon
g
socia l sei-
alike ,
o f
th e
stud y
o f
th e
perso
n
o r
"self" .
Th e
las t
majo r effor t i n
thi s tren
d is represente d
b y Charle s
Taylor' s
Sources of the Self (Cambridge ,
Mass. ,
1989). Thi s wor k
is
a n
impres -
siv e attemp t
a t retracin g th e genealog y o f th e moder n
person ,
which ,
i n a sense , coul d b e describe d a s a
n
"anti-Foucault "
statemen t
o
f
sorts—Miche l
Foucault' s Les mots et les choses havin g bee n widel y per -
ceive d a s heraldin g th e deat h o f man . Taylor' s book , however , is
no t
devoi d
o f religiou s
presupposition s
an d
implications .
I t
is
pre
-
cisel y becaus e Taylo r
see s
th e
sacre d
a s bein g transformed , bu t
no t
quit e evacuated , i n th e moder n world , tha t "man "
quit e
evacuated ,
i n
th e
moder n
world ,
tha t
"man "
still
remain s
a
concret e
presenc e
fo r
him .
I n
hi s
an d
Foucault' s
view ,
ther
e
is
a
direc t
correlatio n
betwee n
theolog y
an d
anthropology .
Divin e
an
d
huma n person s depen d
upo
n
on e another .
Th e
implication s o f suc
h
reflexion s ar e
o f immediat e
an d
crucia l
importance .
Th e
construc -
a
religiou s i n essence ,
tio n
o f
ne w
cod e
o f ethic s is predicate d
upo n
a humanis m
church .
tha t
is
if
no t
directl y linke d
t o
a
Althoug h
anthropologist s
(sinc e Marce l
Mauss' s
semina l
study ,
la
personne, publishe d jus t
sixt y year s
ago )
an d
philosopher s
alik e
con -
side r
th e
proble m
o f
th e
relationship s
betwee n
conception s
o f
th e
divin e
an d
o f
th e
huma n
t o
b e
one ,
lac k th e historica l
a crucia l
thei r
solution s
see m
t o
b e
faulted , becaus e
the y
bot h
an d
comparativ e
perspectiv e whic h alon e coul d generalize , confir m o r infir m th e point s
the y
ar e
Unde r
making .
thes e conditions ,
it
seem s
t o
u s
tha t
historian s
o f
religio n
ar e i n a positio n t o mak e a
meaningfu l contributio n
t o
a
proble m
whic h
toda y
stand s
a t
th e
ver y
"front " o f scholarl y discourse .
Dur -
in g
th e
las t generation ,
a
ne w
interes t
i n
th e
religiou s
anthropolog y
o f ancien t
Greec e
ha s
bee n
developed ,
i n particula r
b y
th e
Frenc
h
historian s o f Gree k religio n aroun d Jean-Pierr e Vernan t an d hi s col -
leagues , an d thank
s
t o
th e
accomplishment s
o f
Walte r
Burkert
.
Importan t a s it ma y be , however , ancien
t
Gree k
cultur e
an d
reli -
gio n represen t
a
ver y
peculia r
cas e
i n
th e
worl d
o f antiquity .
W e
sough t
t o broade n
result s achieve d
b y
classicist s t o includ e
th e
var -
iou s
religion s
o f
th e
ancien t
Nea
r
East ,
b y
offerin g a
contributio n
t o
th e
archaeolog y
o f wester n
conception s
o f
th e
person .
By
"reli -
giou s anthropology" , w e mea n her e bot h
th e explici t an d
th e
implici t
concept s
o f
man ,
perso n
an d
individual ,
a s
"cultura l texts" . W e
wel l
a s
thei r
frame s o f
referenc e withi n
religiou s tradition s
an d
sough t
t o stud y thes e concept s i n a comparativ e wa y thoughou t th e reli -
giou s culture s o f th e
Nea r
East , Egyp t an d
th e Easter n
Mediterranean .
Th e chronologica l scop e o f ou r investigatio n begin s wit h archai c reli -
gion s suc h a s thos e o f Egyp t an
d Mesopotami a
an d proceed s
fro m
ther e t o th e dee p transformation s o f monotheis m
an d
salvatio n
reli -
gion s i n lat e antiquity : Rabbini c Judaism ,
Manichaeism , Sasania n Zoroastrianism .
Earl y Christianity ,
Gnosis ,
Thi s perio d o f tw o millenni a witnesse d severa l decisiv e transforma -
tion s
an d
revolutionar y
disruptions .
Th e
firs t
religiou s
revolutio n
i n th e recorde d
histor y o f mankin d
is
th e
monotheisti c cul t o f Aten ,
INTRODUCTIO N 3 institute d i n th e middl e o f th e 14t
INTRODUCTIO N
3
institute d
i n
th e
middl e
o f
th e
14t h
c .
B.C.E .
b y
th e
Egyptia n
kin g
Amenhote p
I V (Akhenaten) . Thi s innovation ,
however , di d
no t
lea d
t o an y lastin g tradition , becaus e it wa s exterminate
d
shortl y
afte r th e
deat h o f its founder . Late r revolution
s
tha t
rejecte d
bot h
th e
"own "
traditio n
a s
wel l
a s
othe r
religion s
(whic h
no w
becam e
stigmatize d
a s "paganism" ) change d
th e worl d
i n
a
wa y
tha t
still determine s
th e
moder n situation ; the y includ e Zoroastrianism , th e propheti c
religio n
o f Ancien t Israe l fro m its earl y stage s o f "Monoyahwism " t o its lat -
est , develope d monotheisti c stages , furthermor e Christianity , Judaism ,
Manichaeism , Gnosticism , Hermeticis m an d othe r movement s o f Lat e
Antiquit y unti l th e ris e o f Islam , i n man y respect s th e mos t typica l
secondar y
religion .
Commo n
t o
all
thes e
ne w
religion s
is
th e
introductio n
o f
ne w
distinctio n
an d
th e shiftin g
o f a boundary .
Th
a
e ne w distinctio n
con -
cern s
trut h
an d
untrut h
i n religion .
Primar y
religion s ar e
base d
o n
distinction s
suc h
a s
sacre d
profane , pur e
an d
impure ,
bu t
no t
o n
th e distinctio n
betwee
an d
falsehood . Th e
ide a
o f "false "
o
r
"fictitious " god s
is
a s
an d
n trut h
alie n
t o primar y
religion s
a s
it
is
constitu -
tiv e o f founde d religion s fro m Akhenate n
unti l Mohamed .
Thi s
ne w
distinctio n lead s t o th e shiftin g o r redefinitio n o f th e boundar y betwee n
sacre d
an d
profan e o r
pur e
an
d
impure , whic h
is
no w
transforme d
fro m
a n
inne r
int o
a n
oute r boundar y
separatin g "us " fro m
"them" .
Th e
distinctio n betwee n
priest s an d
profan e peopl e
no w
tend s
t o
b e
applie d
t o
th e
differenc e betwee n
th e
member s
o f
th
e
ow n
group ,
wh
o
com e
t o
b e
define
d
a s
" a
kingdo m
o f priests, "
an d
outsiders
,
wh
o
ar e
exclude d
a s
impur e
an d
profane .
Eve n
i n
th e
contex t
o
f
Christianity ,
wher e
man y
"primary "
institution s
suc h
a s
priesthood ,
hierarch y
an d
sacre d
mysterie s surviv e
o r
al l inne r
wer e
re-introduced ,
distinctions .
eve n
th e
oute r
boundar y
b y fa r dominate s
I t
seem s
obviou s
tha t
thes e change s
o n
th
e
plan e
o f religio n
an d
theolog y impl y correspondin g change s o n th e
plan e o f anthropology ,
tha t
is,
ne w
concept s
o f man ,
o f
th e
person ,
o f communit y an d
soci -
et y
an d
o f
th e
huma n
conditio n
i n
general .
Unti l
now ,
religiou s
anthropolog y
ha s stresse d continuitie s
an d
similarities . Th e
sacrifice , myth ,
primar y
interes t
i n studyin g topic s suc h
a s
th e
sacred ,
prayer ,
shamanism , etc . wa s t o uncove r th e commo n phenomenolog y o f homo
-
religiosus. I n
thi s volume ,
w e
ar e
followin g a
different , if no t
oppo
sit e
track .
Ou r
interes t
lies
i n
th
e
searc h
fo r
disruptions ,
shift s an d
disconti -
nuities , changes ,
redefinition s an d
innovations ,
mutations ,
al l o f whic h ma y b e use d t o suppor t
al l
o f whic h
ma
y
b e
use d
t o
suppor t
ou
r
hypothesi s
tha t
radicall y
differen t form s o f religio n mus t necessaril y
entai l radicall y ne w form s
o f homo religiosus.
Bot h
part s
o f
thi s
volum e
concentrat e
o n
Pau l an d Augustin e
theme s tha
t
ar e
closel y
relate d
t o
th e
genesi s o f wha t
define d a s
"inne r
man" , whic h is undoubtedl y o f fundamenta l importanc e fo r th e
rise
o f th e wester n subject . Bu t instea d o f dealin g wit h s o broa d an
d
abstrac t
a subjec t
i n genera l
an d
theoretica l
terms , w e preferre d
t o
concentrat
e
o n
specifi c problem s
an d
phenomen a
tha
t
woul d
allo w
u s
t o
stud
y
th e
origin s
an d
transformation s
o f earl y conception s
o f
huma n
interiorit y
o n
a
mor
e
concret e
level .
Fo r
thi s purpose ,
w e
chos e suc h concept s tha t wer e i n themselve s alread y relate d
t o form s
an d
aspect s
o f inne r
transformation ,
suc h
a s initiation ,
conversion ,
purification , confession , repentanc e
an d
penitence .
Th e
first
par t
o
f
th e volum e concentrate s o n
"conversion " a s a quintessentia l for m o f
inne r transformation , includin g form s an d concept s o f confessio n an d
repentanc e tha t emphasiz e th e aspec t o f transformation . Th e
secon d
par t follow s up , i n mor e detail , o n th e proble m
o f
guil t
associate d
wit h rites
o f confessio n an d
repentance .
W e
thin k
tha t
thi s
metho d
o f focussin g
o n
specifi c questions ,
rathe r
tha n
constructin
g
"gran d
narratives" , will eventuall y lea d t o a historicall y mor e accurat e
vie w
o f
th e
origin s o f modernit y
an d
wester n
individualism .
Th e
presen t
volum e ca n onl y b e a beginning
.
Th e
"Gran d
Narrative "
tha t
w e
ar e
attemptin g
t o
replac e
wit h
detaile d
studie s
i n
historica l
analysi s
wa s
presente d
i n
its
mos t
ac -
complishe d
an d
influentia l for m b y Kar l Jaspers ,
whos e
concep t
o f
"Achsenzeit "
(Axia l Age ) continue d
a
lon g traditio n
datin g bac k
t o
Anquetil-Duperro n
i n
th e
18t h
c . Jaspers '
concep t
o f
"Achsenzeit "
refer s
t o
precisel y
th e
sam e
transformation s
o f religio n
aroun d
th e
middl e
o f
th e
first
milleniu m
B.C.E .
whic h
w e woul d
classif y a s
th e
emergenc e
of "secondar y religions" . Jaspers , however , is mor e impresse d
b y
th e
tempora l
tha n
b y
th e
structura l
analogies
.
Th e
prophet s
o
f
Israel , th e first Gree k philosophers , Zarathustra , th e Buddha , Confuciu s
woul d
hav e
been ,
roughly ,
contemporaries .
I n
th e wak e
o f Jaspers
,
th e Israel i sociologis t S.N . Eisenstad t advance d th e proposa l t o inves -
tigat e
wha t
h e
call s
"breakthroughs "
i n
religiou s
attitude s
o f
th
e
ancien t worl d an d
thei r relationship s wit h transformation s o f
societ y
an d
culture .
Eisenstadt' s
mode l
ha s
th e
grea t
advantag
e
o f
bein g
bot h detaile d an d dynamic .
I t transform s th e concep t o f "Axia l
Age "
int o
a
proces s
o f
"axialization "
an d
eve n
allow s
fo r
contrariou
s
processe s of "deaxialization" . Fo r Jaspers , o n th e othe r hand
processe s of "deaxialization" . Fo r Jaspers , o n th e othe r hand , th e worl d
o f "pre-axial " culture s wa s simpl y a polemica l an d eurocentri c construc -
tion : th e counter-imag e
o f everythin g tha t Jasper s haile d
a s
th e
clas -
sica l norm s
th e concep t
an d
value s o f "axiality" .
I n
spit e
o f
hi s
effort s t o
exten
d
o f axialit y
t o
th e Asia n
worl d
a t large
,
his value s
remaine
d
strictl y
European .
We ,
fo r
ou r
part ,
inten d
t o
focu s eve n
mor
e
intensivel y
o n
th e
questio n o f "transformation " b y approachin g it fro m bot h sides : fro m
th e
sid e
o f "primar
y
religions " o r "pre-axia l
cultures" , whic h w e
in -
vestigat e
no t
onl y
i n
thei r
"classical" , bu t
als o
i n
thei r
lat e
an d
lates t
stages , an d
fro m th e
sid e
o f "new "
religion s o r "axia l cultures" .
An d
w e inten d
t o
stud y
th e dialectica l
relationship s betwee n
transforma -
tion s o f theolog y an d anthropology , rathe r tha n
th e whol e
spectru m
o f
th e
relationship s
betwee n
religion ,
societ y
an d
culture .
W e
d o
insist , however , o n th e comparativ e
fram e o f th e collectiv e
research .
I n othe r terms
,
w e
see k no t
h
t o enric h th e objectiv e knowl
-
edg e
o f
a
limite d
field,
bu t
s o muc
rathe r
t o
influenc e
ou r
conception s
o
f
th e interrelationship s
betwee n
religiou s an d
cultura l
phenomena .
Thes e chapter s
shops , jointl y
represen t version s o f paper s presente d
a t
tw o
work -
organize d
b y
th e
editor s
withi n
th e
framewor k
o f
a
researc h gran t fro m th e German-Israel i Foundatio n fo r Scientifi c Re -
searc h
an d
Developmen t
(GIF) .
Thi s
gran t
permitte d
a n
investiga -
tio n of Religiou s Anthropolog y an d its Transformation s i n th e Ancien t
an d
Lat e Antiqu e Nea r
East . Th e paper s
of a first worksho p
(on
"Soul ,
Self , an d
Body" ) hel d
a t Nev
e
Ilan , Israel , i n Februar y
199 5 wit h
th e
cooperatio n
o f
th e Jaco
b
Taube s
Minerv a
Cente r
fo r
Religiou s
An -
thropolog y a t Ba r Ila n University ,
hav e
bee n
publishe d
i n
thi s serie s
b y Alber t
Baumgarte n
an d
th e
editor s
o f
thi s
volume .
A t
a
work -
sho p hel d i n Heidelberg , Germany , i n Jul y
1996 , w e decide d
t o focu s
o n
"Confessio n
an d
Conversion. , י
Th e
worksho p
hel d
i n Jerusale m
i n
Octobe r
199 7
ha d
"Guilt ,
Sin ,
an d
Ritual s
o f
Purification "
a
s
its theme .
Sinc e th e scop e
o f
th e
projec t wa s so broa d
fro m
a
chrono -
logica l poin t
o f view ,
an d
comparativ e i n essence , w e sough t t o
hav e
a t leas t
th e
a kerne l
o f
scholar s participat e i n bot h
workshops , whic h
is
reaso n
eac h par t
wh y
six o f th e participant s
contribute d
tw o chapters ,
on e
i n
o f
th e
volume .
Thi s
fac t
ma y
actuall y
provid e
som e
threa d o f continuit y betwee n th e tw o connecte d ye t differen t aspect s
o f
th e
"transformation s o f th e self " discusse d
i n
part s
on e
an d
two .
Althoug h
w e
sough t
t o
cove r
a s
man y
a s
possibl e
o f
th e
differen t
culture s an d religiou s communitie s involved , w e mak e n o
culture s
an d
religiou s
communitie s
involved ,
w e
mak e
n o
clai m
o
f
havin g
bee
n
exhaustive .
Wha t
w e
hop e
t o
hav e
gaine d
(an d
con -
veyed )
is a
sens e
o f th e dynamic s an d dialectica l relationship s betwee n
th e variou s Nea r Easter n an d Mediterranea n religion s fro m th e archai c
perio d
t o
lat e
antiquity ,
no t
t o
forge t
th
e
highl y
enrichin g
experi -
enc e o f havin g studie d thes e religion s together .
W e
wis
h
t o expres s
its Director ,
ou r
dee p gratitud e
t o th e German-Israel i
Foun -
datio n
an d
Dr . Amno n
Barak , wh o supporte d ou
r
pro -
jec t
i n
th e
mos t generou s wa y durin g
th e year s
1994-1998 . W
e
als o
wis h
t o than k
Alber t
Baumgarten , wh o wa s extremel y helpfu l i n co -
organizin g
th e
first
conferenc e
o n
"Self ,
Sou l
an d
Body "
a t
Nev e
Ila n
an d
i n coeditin g th e first volume . Th e
othe r
tw o
conference s
wer e held , respectively , a t th e Internationales Wissenschaftsforum Heidelberg
an d
th e
Ratisbonne Pontifical Institute for Jewish
Studies, an d
w e
woul d
lik e
t o
than k
Prof . Michae l Welker ,
Dr . Theres a
Reite r an d
Fathe r
Eli o Paset o
fo r thei r
mos t kin d
support . Member s
o
f
th e
tea m
o f
investigator s
were ,
hospitalit y an d
a t Jerusalem ,
Dr .
Brouri a
Biton -
Ashkelon i an d Dr .
Serg e Ruzer , an d
a t Heidelber g Dr .
Rober t
Meyer .
Thei r
ou r
fo r thei r never-failin g engagemen t
shar e
i n
th e
result s
o f
ventur e
is
a s
bi
g
a s
ou r
gratitud e
an d
dedication .
FRO M TH E PARADIG M O F LAMEN T AN D HEARIN G T O
FRO M
TH
E
PARADIG M
O F
LAMEN T
AN D
HEARIN G
T O
TH E
CONVERSIO N
PARADIG M
FRIT Z
STOL Z
1.
Preliminary remarks: Speaking of conversion
1.1
Conversion as individual experience
PVom th e ver y beginning s
o f
th e
y o f religions ,
conver -
sio n
ha s
bee n
a prominen t
them e
scientifi c stud
o f research .
Abou t
on e
hundre d
year s
ago , psychologica l
studie s wer e
carrie d
ou t
o n
conversion s
i n
Nort h America ; indeed , thi s marke d
th e beginnin g o f th e
field
o f
th e
psycholog y
o f religion .
Th
e
mos t
prominen t
representative s
o f
th e
developin g disciplin e mad e contribution s t o th e topic : Starbuc k
pub -
lishe d a n empirica l
stud y stressin g th e juvenil e
settin g
o f
th e
event, 1
Leub
a
underline d
i n
a phenomenologica l
stud y
th e
ethica l
charac
-
te r o f conversion, 2
an d Jame s
dedicate d
tw o chapter s
o f
hi s
epoch -
makin g wor k o n religiou s lif e t o thi s specifi c experience. 3
Conversio n
seeme d
t o
b e
th
e cente r
o f religio n
i n general ,
th e Christia n
mode l
wa s atteste d t o b e representativ e
fo r
th e
worl d
o f religion s
editio n
a s
a
o f James '
consent -
whole .
Arthu r Darb y Noc k i n
hi s introductio n
t o
a
ne w
wor
k
i n
196 0 explicid
y
pointe d
t o thi s supposition ,
himsel f
ing. 4
Th e
ide a
o f
religion ,
i n
thi s
regard ,
is highl y
individualistic
:
Religiou s experienc e direct s huma n being s toward s mora l perfection ;
it reveal s th e mysti c undergroun d
o f realit y
t o
them ;
an d
it
make s
the m awar e o f th e hithert o hidde n dimensio n o f th e person , th e
"uttermos t
self" . Thes e
ar e typica l moder n
qualitie s o f religion ;
modernity .
con -
versio n
seem s
t o
b e
a paradig m
o f religiou s
1
E.D . Starbuck ,
The Psychology of Religions (London : Scot t
1899).
2 J.H . Leuba , "Studie s in th e Psycholog y of Religiou s Phenomena" , American
Journal of Psychology 7 (1896).
3
W
.
James ,
Foun t Paperbacks ,
1977, reimp .
of th e
1960 edition , originall y
1902): 194ff.—Jame s
explicitly
refer s t o
th e
previou s studie s of Starbuc k
an d
Leuba .
4
"Mos t of th e materia l is draw n fro m Christia n source s
Jame s
hav e liked
G .
va n
de r
Leeuw' s dictu m
tha t
ther e
ar e
onl y quit e few
woul d probabl y
thought s whic h
it
is give n
t o humanit y
t o
thin k
abou t
th
e
divin e
.
.
. "
A.D .
Noc k
in
th e
rééditio n
of James , Varieties :
20-21 .

The Varieties of Religious Experience. A Study in Human Nature (London :

Nock , fo r hi s part , approache d conversio n fro m th e
Nock , fo r hi s part , approache d conversio n fro m th e historica l side .
Hi s
famou s wor k
o n
religiou s
histor y
fro m Alexande r
th e
Grea t
t o
Augustin e deepl y influence d historica l researc h o n th e Hellenisti c an d
earl y Christia n
er a
i n
thi s century. 5
Thu s
ther e
ar e
tw o
prototypica l
epoch s o f conversion :
Lat e antiquit y o n
th e
on e
hand ,
an d
th e
Prot -
estan t milieu s o f
Pietism , Revivalism , Puritanis m an d
Evangelicalis m
o n
th e
other .
Bot h concept s
o f conversio n
ar e shape d
b y
a certai n
typ e
o f
indi -
vidualism . Th e
typica l conversio n
o f Antiquity
,
fro m on e religio n
t o
another ,
require s
a n
individua l
wh o
is
abl e
t o
choos e
a
personall y
adequat e
religion ,
agains t
th e
traditiona l
socia l bonds .
Th e
conver -
sion s o f Protestantis m
requir e
a n
analogou s
individua l
wh o
is
abl e
t o tur n awa y fro m worldl y behavior , fro m
th e
value s
o
f
th e
sur -
roundin g majority . I n bot h cases , conversio n concern s th e
"inmos t
self " whic h
is constitute d
b y
a
religiou s
choice ;
religio n
belong s
t o
thi s "inmos t self" , choosin g its
persona l
"truth" .
Th e
phenomeno -
logica l an d comparativ e
approac
h
point s t o a n anthropologica l
leve
l
whic h is elementar y fo r religio n i n general . Accordin g t o man y schol -
ar s
eve n
today ,
religio n
is
conceptualize d
i n
correspondenc e
t o
th e
"inmos t
self, " whic h
cam e
int o bein g (no t exclusively ,
bu t
t o
a
cer -
tai n
extent ) i n
th e
historica l
context s o f conversions. 6
1.2
Conversion as social pattern
I n
th e
las t decades ,
however ,
a
ne w
approac h
t o
th e
phenomeno n
ha s developed .
Sociologist s o f religio n hav e revise d
th e
cas e
o f
con -
version , stressin g th e socia l aspec t o f th e process . Conversio n
is
no w
treate d
a s
a
patter n
o f communication. 7
Narration s
o f
conversion s
5
A.D . Nock ,
Conversion:
Augustine of Hippo (Oxford : Oxfor d Universit y Press,
1933, 2 1961).
6
Th e
influenc e of
Willia m Jame
s
fo r th e formativ e phas e
of religiou s
studie s is
har d t o overestimate .
In
th e Germa
n
speakin g world , th e wor k of Rudol
f
Ott o
ha d
a simila r effect .
J . A. Beckford , "Accountin g fo r Conversion" ,

The British Journal of Sociology 2 9 (1978):

The Old and the New in Religion from Alexander the Great to

  • 7 Th e approac h develope d in Englis h speakin g countries , cf. W.E . Con n (Ed.), Conversion: Perspectives on Personal and Social Transformation (New York : Alb a House , 1978);

249-262 ; J.H . Fichter , Autobiographies of Conversion (Lewiston : Edwi n Mellen , 1987); P.G . Stromberg , Language and Self Transformation. A Study of the Christian Conversion Narrative (Cambridge : Cambridg e Universit y Press, 1993). Late r this typ e of researc h wa s adopte d by German-speakin g scholars , B. Ulmer , "Konversionserzählunge n als rekonstruktiv e Gattung . Erzählerisch e Mitte l un d Strategie n be i de r Rekonstruktio n eine s Bekehrungserlebnisses " Zeitschrift für Soziologie 17 (1988): 19-33 ; M . Wohlrab - Sahr/H . Knoblauch/V . Krec h (Eds.), Religiöse Konversion: Systematische und fallorientierte

hav e bee n analyzed ; stylin g o f the y prov e t o
hav e
bee n
analyzed ;
stylin g o f
the y
prov e
t o
b e
stereotype d
i n
a
ver y
hig h
degree .
Th e
narration s
depend s
o n
th e grou
p
tha t
form s
th e socia l backgroun d o f th e conversio n experience . Thi s mean s tha t
experienc e is forme d b y th e patter n
o f communication ; it is no
t
pos -
sibl e t o describ e th e experienc e
itsel f i n
a
for m prio r
t o
tha t
forme d
b y communicatio n patterns . Thi s doe s no t mea n tha t experienc e dis -
appear s completel y i n communication ;
w e
hav e
t o
tak e
int o
accoun t
a
mutua l
dependence :
Experience s
ar e
shape d
b y pattern s
o f
com
-
munication ,
an d
pattern s
o f communicatio n
creat e
ne w
experience .
Th e
variabilit y o f th e conversio n
patter n
depend s o n
th e
rigidity
o f
th e classificatio n syste m
tha t
is applie d
withi n
a
group .
Pattern s
o f conversio n
ar e
no t
invariant ;
the y
develo p
i n
paralle l
wit
h
th e developmen t
o f
th
e
grou
p
a s
a
whole ;
e.g. , conversion s
i
n
th e contex t o f Jehovah' s Witnesse s hav e change d
typicall y
accordin g
t o
th e structur e
an d
th e organizatio n
o f
th e
community. 8
Christia n
evangelica l
narrative s
abou t
conversio n
emphasiz e
tha t
conversio n
is
th e
cente r
o f
th e
biography ;
thu s
it
is
th e
mos t
indi -
vidua l poin t o f one' s life . Man y evangelica l Christian s kno w th e exac t
dat
e
an d
th e
exac t
tim e
o f conversion .
Bu t eve n
if conversio n
is
a
ver y
th e grou p
individua l
experience ,
it
is
no t
origina l
a t
all ;
all
member s
o
f
tell storie s
abou t
ver y simila r
experiences .
Conversio n
mean s a complet e
reversa l
o f one' s
life . A
lif e
o f
dark -
ness , o f perversion ,
o f
si n
turn s int o
a redeeme d
life . Eve n member s
wh o hav e grow n
u p
i n
th e group ,
i.e . childre n
o f
evangelica l parents ,
experienc e
suc h
notic e
a
chang e
conversions .
o f behavior .
A n
observe r
fro m
outsid e
woul d
no t
I n
thi s
case ,
th e
formativ e
powe r
o
f
th e communicatio n
patter n
is obvious :
Lif e
canno t reall y b e under -
stoo d withou t
th e turnin g poin t
o f conversion—s o conversio n has t o
happen ,
eve n
if
it
seem s
no t
t o
b e
necessary .
Th e
patter n
o f
com -
municatio n
is
s o
stron g tha t
it induce s
th e
experience .
A
las t
remar k
is important .
Th e
wor d
"conversion" ,
althoug h
a
traditiona l
a shibbole t
evangelica l
ter m
o f Protestan t
theology ,
ha s becom e
somethin g
lik e
fo r
a
certai n
typ e o f Protestantism ; it is characteristi c
o
f
o r
eve n
fundamentalisti c groups ,
a t
leas t
i n
Europe .
I f
yo u as k a non-evangelica l
Christia n if h e is converted ,
h e will
hesitat e
Studien
in soziologischer Perspektive (Konstanz : Universitätsverlag ,
1996) a.ο .
int o th e presen t sociologica l an d psychologica l discussion : L.R . Rambo , Understanding
Religious Conversion (New Haven/London :
Yal e Universit y
Press,
1993).
8
Beckford , Accounting .

Introductio n

t o giv e a positiv e answer , eve n if h e is a
t o giv e a positiv e answer , eve n if
h e
is
a
faithfu l membe r
o f
th e
church . Conversion , obviously , is n o longe r a prototyp e o f religious -
nes s i n general
o f sectarianism .
.
I t
has ,
a t
leas t
i n
Europe ,
gaine d
th
e
connotatio n
Th e
pattern s
o f communicatio n
foun d b y sociologist s hav e
a
his -
torica l background ; the y ar e represente d a s literar y genres. 9 Christia n
tract s
regularl y
contai n
biographica l
sketche s
centere d
aroun d
th e
turnin g poin t
o f conversion .
Thi s
typ e o f literatur e
ha s
its
root s
i n
Pietisti c
an d
Purita n
milieus ;
th e
descriptio n
o
f
one' s
ow n
lif e
a s
a
typica l exampl e fo r
a Christia n
biograph y
is
on e
o f
th e
norma l
way s
o f proclaimin
g
th e
Christia n
message .
Conversio n
an d
rebirth :
thi s
is th e cente r o f a religiou s movemen t tha t is a t th e
sam e tim e
con -
servativ e an d
th e
modern ;
conservativ e
wit h
respec t
t o
th e
content s
o f
message ,
o f th e message .
moder n
wit h
respec t
t o
th e
individualisti c
applicatio n
Conversio n
an
d
rebirt h
hav e
alway s
bee n
traditiona l
theme s
of
Christia n
theolog y
an d
liturgy .
Wit h
respec t
t o
th e
socia l
functio
n
o f conversion ,
th e
developmen
t
o f
th e
topi c
is
ver y
instructive: 1 0
I n th e classi c Protestan t
doctrine , th e mai n
point s
o f
th e
Christia n
messag e
wer e
no t
use d
a s
a
structur e
fo r
th e
biography ;
especiall y
fo r Luther , justificatio n wa s no t a wel l define d biographica l
turnin g
poin t
bu t
a
lastin g aspec t
o f Christia n
life , jus t
a s
si n
wa s
a
lastin
g
aspec t o f Christia n
life . Accordin g t o th e concep t
o f
th e Reformation ,
si n
an d justificatio n
ar e
simultaneou s
an d
th e
characte r
o f
lif e
is
ambiguous , wherea s th e Pietisti c an d Purita n conceptio n tend s toward s
disambiguation ;
ther e
ar e
tw o
clearl y
separate d
phase s
o f
darknes s
an d light . Ambiguit y
an d disambiguatio n
ar e
aspect s no t
onl y
o f
th
e
interpretatio n
o f
life ; the y
ar e
importan t
als o
fo r
th e
concep
t
o f
Go d
an d
society .
Luther'
s
concep t
o f
Go d
is
ver y
ambivalen t
(h e
look s
fo r clarificatio n b y th e distinctio n betwee n th e hidde n an d th e reveale d
God) ,
an d
hi s
ide a
o f
th e
churc h
is directe d
b y
th e
dichotom y
o
f
th e
invisibl e an d
th e visibl e
church .
O n
th e othe r
hand ,
befor
e
its plac e
an d
beyon d
th e Reformation , i n
Cath
-
olicism , conversio n
ha d
withi n
th e institutionalize d
proces s
o f penance
;
it
mean t
a
(temporary )
withdrawa l
fro m
evil
,
a
cycli c
9
America n material : A.Jon , American Personal Religious Accounts 1600-1980.
an
Inner History of Amerca's Faiths (New York : Studie s in America n
Religion , Vol .
8 ,
1983).
V ,
lu Cf . th e articl e "Bekehrung " (variou s authors ) in: Theologisch e Realenzyklopädi e
439-486 .

Toward

passag e fro m ambiguit y t o disambiguation . Thu s conversio n is no
passag e fro m ambiguit y t o disambiguation . Thu s conversio n
is
no t
a uniqu e bu t a repetitiv e transformation ; wherea s conversio n i n a
pietisti c milie u serve s a s mean s o f self-contro l (th e conver t ha s t
loo k fo r maintainin g th e stat e o f bein g born-again) , th e repetitiv
o
e
Catholi c
conversio n withi n th e sacramen t o f penanc e serve s th e con -
tro l o f th e ecclesiastica l
organization .
I n th e first centurie s o f Christianit y howeve r th e situatio n wa s quit e
different . Conversio n mean t th e exchang e o f a religiou s paradigm . W e
ca n assum e that , normally , th e consequence s fo r th e conver t wer e
incisive. Th e renunciatio n of traditiona l sacrifices, fo r instance , exclude d
th e conver t fro m importan t performance s o f communa l life ; th e bio -
graphica l brea k wa s ver y important . Ambiguit y become s th e marke r
o f th e abandone d "pagan " world , convertin g t o Christianit y bring
s
th e specifi c disambiguation . Th e individualit y induce
d
b y
thi s
typ e
o f conversio n is ver y accentuate d i n differen t dimension s (ritual , social ,
ethical) .
Thi
s
shor t
surve y
o f
th e
historica l
evolutio n
o f
conversio n
a s
a
patter
n o f communicatio n
give s
a n
ide a o f th e variabilit y
o f
thi s
pat -
ter n
wit h
respec t
t o functio n
an d
meaning .
Strictl y
speaking ,
ther e
is
no t
eve n
on e
constan t
throug h
th e
whol e
histor y
o f
conversio n
apar t
fro m
th e
ter m
itsel f (though ,
strictl y
speakin g
again , conversio
i n Lat e Antiquit y
ha s
no t
th e sam e significatio n a s th e moder
n
Englis h
conversion).
Thes e
deal t wit h
its basi c
a
result s contras t wit h
th
e clear-cu t pictur e o f conversio n
w e
i n
th e
first
sectio n
o f thi s paper— a
conversio n which , i n
qualities , ough t t o b e a universa l huma n phenomenon , eve n
more :
mode l
fo r religiou s experienc e par excellence. Th e
hermeneu -
tica l proble m
is obvious .
W e
hav e
t o
tak e
i n
accoun t
tha t
one' s
cul -
tura l backgroun d shape s th e
reconstructio n
o f
historicall y ver y remot e
situation s o f
communication .
Th e
effect s o f
thi s projectio n
ca n
b e
balance d
b y th e elaboratio n
o f th e historica l
relativit y o f one' s
ow
n
cultura l history . Th e Europea n histor y o f "conversion " reveal s differen t
dimensions ,
whic h
serv e
t o describ e
th e
historica
l
phenomen a
tha t
see m
t o
b e
relate d
bu t
lac k
a n
invariabl e
se t
o f
characteristics. "
11
Th e proble m of definin g conversio n is reminiscen t of th e difficultie s in
finding
a n overal l workin g (substantial ) definitio n fo r "religion" ; Sale r speaks , followin g
Wittgenstein , of "famil y resemblance" . In fact , th e metho d of Comparativ e Religio n
canno t
look
fo r "idea l
type s of phenomena "
bu
t
ha s to develo p classification s fo r
description s of resemblances . B.
Transcendent Natives, and Unbounded Categories (Leiden : Brill,
1993).

Saler , Conceptualizing Religion: Immanent Anthropologists,

1. 3 Theoretical consequences O n a highe r leve l o f abstraction , th
1. 3
Theoretical consequences
O n
a
highe r
leve l o f abstraction ,
th e previou s
consideration s
mak e
clea r tha t th e phenomen a
discusse d
ca n
b e
describe d
accordin g
t o
differen t point s o f view . Eac h
o f thes e point s reveal s
correspondence s
an d
difference s betwee n
variou s
type s
o f conversion .
The y
ar e
ap t
t o describ e a n historica l evolution—bu t
the y
ca n
b e applie d
t o
sim -
ila r phenomen a
i n
othe r
cultura l
an d
historica l
area s
a s
well .
1.
Th e
processe s
w e
deal t
wit h
ca n
b e
describe d
a s
transition s
an d
transformations .
Suc h
transition s
ma y
lea d
int o
ne w
socia l
grou p
(b e it respecte d
o r
disregarded )
o r
int o
a
ne
a
w socia l
position .
Obviousl
y
thi s
poin t
o f
vie w
bring s
"conversions "
i n
a
relatio n
t o
rites
o f
initiation. 1 2
repetitiv e
Transition s
ca n
structure .
cases , ther e
b e
mean t
a s
unique ;
the y
ca n
mar k
a
tempora l
Th e
transitio n
ca n
underg o
a
"spiritualization" ;
i
n
thes e
is
a n
inne r wa y
t o
b e
gone ,
a
rearrangemen t
o f religiou s o r ethica l orientation .
Transition s
cor -
respon d
t o
transformations :
Ther e
ar e
transformation s
o f
behavio r
an
d
o f
morality ;
ther e
ar e
transformation s
o f
th e
menta l
horizon
;
ne
w
experience s becom e available . Again , thi s poin t o f vie w is essen -
tia l fo r initiator y
rites.
2 .
Th e transition s an d transformation s i n questio n ar e forme d an d
induce d
b y
pattern
s
o f communication .
Thi s
is
tru e
fo r
transition s
an d
transformation s no t onl y i n th e oute r
bu t
als o
i n
th e
inner ,
spir -
itua l reality . Th e developmen t
o f oute r
t o
inne r transformatio n (or th e
reverse ) ough t
t o
b e
reflecte d
a
s
a
shif t i n
th e communicatio n
pattern .
3 .
Ther e
ar e ver y differen
t
relation s
betwee n
"community "
(o r
communities )
an d
"individual" .
Th e
transitio n
ca n
happe n
withi n
on e
d
acter) ; it
an
th e sam e communit y
(especiall y
if
it
ha
s
a
repetitiv e
char -
ca n lea d
fro m
a
large ,
chaoti c
t o a small , well-ordere d
com -
munity , fro m a communit y
o f
si n
t o
a
communit y
etc .
Th e
admissio n
t o
th e
transitio n
ca n
b
e obligator y
o r
o f justice ,
deliberate ;
th e
choic e fo r o r agains t th e transitio n
ca n
requir e lowe r o r highe r efforts .
Accordingly , th e individua l ca n behav e i n correspondenc e o r i n con -
tradictio n
t o th e surroundin g milieu ; th e experienc e
o f distanc e
an d
dissociatio n ca n induc e a certai n typ e o f individualism . O n
th e
othe r
12
Th e
social aspec t of initiation s
ha s bee n
stresse d sinc e th e publicatio
n
of va n
Gennep' s initia l contributio n
t o
th e
discussion ; A. va n
Gennep ,
The Rites of Passage
(London : Routledg e an d
Kegan ,
1977; origina l Frenc h publicatio n
1909).
hand , ther e ar e communitie s wit h ver y stric t socia l
hand ,
ther e ar e
communitie s wit h ver y stric t socia l contro l tha t stres s
th e importanc e
o f individua l
experience .
4 .
Fo r th e descriptio n an d interpretatio n
o f
th
o f
tran
-
sitio n
an d
transformation
,
th e
classificator y term s
e processe s
ambiguity/disam -
biguatio n
ar e
ver y
useful . Transition s
ar e
suppose d
t o
lea d
fro m
a
stat e
o f confusio n
o r
ambiguit y
toward s
clarification ; therefore ,
th e
transitio n
ha s
th e
qualit y
o f
rituals
ver y
ofte n introduc e
a
phas e
o f
disambiguation .
ambiguity ,
eve n
Initiatio n
o f chaoti c
uncertainty ,
i n orde r
t o transfor m
it
int o
a newl y consolidate d world. 1 3 Thi s struc -
tur e appear s t o b e rathe r universal ; it characterize s conversion s
an d
relate d
processes . Ambiguit y
an d
disambiguatio n
occu r
o n
th e
sym -
boli c an d o n th e societa l level : Disambiguatio n
o n
th
e symboli c leve l
mean s
tha t
difference s i n
th e
symbo l
syste m
becom
e
cleare r
or ,
a t
least , tha t experience s of ambivalenc e ar e articulated .
Disambiguatio n
o n
th e
societa l leve l woul d
tha t difference s hav e socia l
conse -
quences—e.g .
b y
a
kin d
mea n
o f separation ,
b y sectarianism ,
etc .
A s
mentioned ,
th e
developmen t
o f
comparativ e
perspective s
fo r
describin g differen t type s o f conversio n
brough t
t o
min d
th e
resem -
blanc e o f conversio n
Antiquit y ther e wa s
an d
initiatio n
patterns .
A s
a
matte r
o f
fact ,
i n
a
developmen t
fro m
"initiation "
t o
"conver -
sion"—w e will discus s th e
degre e
t o whic h
suc h
label s mak e
sense .
Bu t
firstly,
w e
will tes t
communication :
ou r
tool s o f descriptio n
i n anothe
r
historica l
comple x o f
Th e
paradig m
o f lamen t
an d
hearing .
2 .
The paradigm of lament and hearing in antiquity
2. 1
Rituals of restitution
I n man y ancien t
culture s ther e is a n institutio n
o f healin g individua l
an d
socia l
anomalies—suc h
a s
seriou s
case s
o f
illness ,
misfortune
,
etc .
I n
th e
cas e
o f
suc h
anomalies ,
therapeuti c measure s tak e
place
.
Th e
sufferin g peopl e consul t specialists , ofte n i n th e temple ; an d
the y
ge t
a
treatment ,
hopin g
fo r
a
quic k
restitutio n
o
f
individua l
an d
socia l health . Th e
reflecte d i n man y
communicatio n
o f thes e processe s
o f restitutio n
is
literar y
documents .
Th e
first researc h don e i n this directio n wa s carrie d
ou t
b y
Herman n
13
Th e importanc e of this
theoretica l consideration s by
(Ne w York : D e Gruyter
,
1969).

phas e wa s stresse d

by

va n

Gennep

,

Rites , too ; furthe r

V . Turner ,

The Ritual Process: Structure and Anti-Structure

Gunke l an d hi s pupi l Joachi m Beglich. 1 4 Gunke l an
Gunke l an d
hi s pupi l Joachi m
Beglich. 1 4 Gunke l an d
Beglic h
intro -
duce d sociologica l question s int o th e histor y o f culti c literature .
The y
recognize d
th e
basi c
connectio n
betwee n
lamen t
an d
thanksgivin g
song :
Th e
lamen t
belong s
t o
a
ritual
par t treatin g th e
disintegration ;
it is positivel y
answere d
b y a representativ e
o f
th e
godhead ,
an d
it
end s ofte n wit h
a vow , a proclamatio n
o f confidenc e an d
a n
outloo k
o n
th e
expecte
d
salvation .
Th e
son g o f thanksgivin g
look s bac k
t o
misery .
Th e
thanksgive r
praise s
t o joi n
Go
d
an d
invite s
th e
othe r
partici -
pant
s
o f th e celebratio n
in .
O
f
course ,
thi s
is
a
highl y
simplifie d view .
It is probabl e
tha t
ther e
wer e
historica l
an d
geographica l
variation
s
o f
th e
culti c
form s
i n
ancien t Israel. 1 5 Mesopotamia n text s represen t a differentiate d structur e
o f
laments ,
incantations ,
prayers ,
etc .
Th e
differen t
genre s
(šu-ila,
maqlû, šurpu, eršahunga, etc. ) hav e a
complicate d history ; sometimes , th e
ritual
backgroun d
is
less
societ y dispose s
mor e
o r
clear. 1 6
Th e
crucia l poin t
is
quit e
clea r however : Th e
o f
a n
institutio n
fo r
th e
reinte -
gratio n o f disintegrate d persons . Thanksgivin g is a n ordinar y elemen t
i n
thi s proces s
Thi s elemen t
o f successfu l
reintegration .
o f thanksgivin g
is
th e
subjec t w e
will
consider .
2. 2
"Post-cultic" development
I n
th e
las t years ,
ther e
a vivi d discussio n
amon g orientalist s
o f
"official " o r "public "
ha s bee n
religio n
o n
th e
on e
hand ,
an d
privat e
reli -
gio n
o n
th e other. 1 7
Thi
s distinctio n ha s produce d importan t
insight s
14
H . Gunkel/J .
Begrich ,
Einleitung in die Psalmen. Die Gattungen der religiösen Lyrik
Israels (Göttingen : Vandenhoec k & Ruprecht , 1933, 3 1975) .
15
Th e ol d Israelit e healin g
rituals hav e bee n studie d
repeatedly ;
cf.
Κ
.
Seybold ,
Das Gebet des Kranken im Alten
Testament. Untersuchungen zur Bestimmung und Zuordnung
der Krankheils- und Heilungspsalmen (Stuttgart : Kohlhammer , 1973). E. Gerstenberger ,
Der bittende Mensch. Bittritual und Klagelied des Einzelnen im Alten Testament (Neukirchen -
Vluyn : Neukirchene r Verlag , 1980).
16
Som e informatio n is availabl e in th e article s "Gebet" , in: Reallexikon der Assyriologù
3
(1957-1971) :
156-17 0 an d "Medizin" , in : Reallexikon
der Assyriologie 7 (1987-1990) :
623-629 .
17
As t o privat e
an d
persona l religion : Th . Jacobsen ,
The Treasures of Darkness. A
History of Mesopotamian Religion (Ne w Haven/London : Yal e Universit y Press, 1976):
147-164) . Som e
development s in
importan t
studie s ha d
thei r origi n in comparativ e
researc h
abou t
Mesopotami a
an d
Israel :
H .
Vorländer ,
Mein Gott. Die
Vorstellung
vom persönlichen Gott im Alten
Orient und im Alten
Testament (Neukirchen/Kevelaer :
Neukirchene r
Verlag ,
1975);
R . Albertz ,
Persönliche Frömmigkeit und offizielle Religion.
Religionsinterner Pluralismus in Israel und Babylon (Stuttgart :
Calwe r
Verlag ,
1978);
K . va n de r Toorn , Family Religion in Babylonia, Syria and Israel (Leiden : Brill
1996).
i n differen t religiou s areas ; bu t w e hav e t o
i n
differen t religiou s
areas ;
bu t
w e
hav e
t o
tak
e
int o
consideratio n
tha
t
th e proble m
o f intrareligiou s variet y is muc
h
mor e complex .
I n
th e
ancien t
Nea r
Eas t
ther e
exist s a famil y religio n wit h
ancestra l
worship ; ther e ar e loca l cult s wit h characteristi c functions ; ther e
are ,
a
s
w e
hav e seen , ritual s
fo r
th e
restitutio n
o r
th e socia l
is expresse d
reintegratio n
o
f
individuals ; ther e
is
a
stat e
religion , whic h
b y
th e
bi g
rituals
like
th e
Ne w
Yea r
Festival .
Ther e
ar e
kin g is importan t
link s
betwee n
thes
e
type s o f religions ; th e famil y religio n
o f
th e
fo r
th e
stat e
a s
a whole .
S o
instea d o f dichotomizin g religio n int o
"private "
an d
"official " religio n
it
woul d
b e
mor e
appropriat e
t o
spea k
o f
differen t societa l subsystem s
tha t
ar e
separatel y
symbolized .
Thi s
intrareligiou s
pluralis m
create s
a
ne w
typ e
o f religiou s
pri
-
vac y wit h innovator y characteristics : Th e
traditiona l
religiou s
orien -
tatio n n o longe r respond s t o th e growin g individualisti c
needs .
A s
a
resul t o f thi s development , a
specia l typ e o f "privat e religion " emerge s
tha t
is documente d
i n
text s
dealin g
wit h
religiou s
problem s
i n
th
e
stric t
sens e
o f
th e
word .
On
e
o f thes e
text s
is
th e
famou s Akkadia n
compositio n ludlul bēl nēmeqV 8 Th e literar y structur e o f th e tex t remind s
o f a thanksgivin g hymn .
Bu t
i n
fac t
th e
tex t
ha s quit e anothe r
func -
tio n tha n
th e
classi c form .
I
will
repor t
rea d
som e
passage s tha t
i n
m y
vie w
ar e
especiall y
th e content s
important .
an d
Th e
beginnin g
o f
th e
tex t
(excep t
fo r
th e
first
line )
wa s
missin g
unti l Wisema n
publishe d
a table t
fro m Kalah. 1 9
I t contain s
a n
invo -
catio n
o f
Marduk :
I will praise
the lord
of wisdom, solicitous god ,
furiou s in the night, calmin g i n the daylight:
Marduk ! lord of wisdom, solicitous god ,
furiou s in the night , calmin g in the daylight ,
whose ange r engulfs like a tempest ,
whose
breez e
is sweet
as
the
breath e
of morn . (I,Iff.)
Th e
poe m
o f extrem e
contain s
man y
traditiona l
elements .
It
look s
bac k
t o
a
perio d
misery . Th e
wel l know n
motif s o f lamen t
occur :
Demon s
o f sicknes s
an d
ba d
luc k attack ,
etc .
18
W.G . Lambert , Babylonian Wisdom Literature (Oxford : Oxfor d University Press, 1960):
2Iff.—Translations : R.D .
Biggs in Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testa-
ment (Princeton : Princeto n Universit y Press, 1969): 596ff. ; B.R . Foster , Before the Muses:
An Anthology of Akkadian Literature (2 vols.; Bethesda : CD L Press,
1994): 308ff . W .
v .
Soden , in: Texte zur Umwelt des Alten Testaments III/ 1 (Gütersloh : Mohn ,
1990): 11
Off.
19
D.J. Wiseman , " A Ne w Tex t of th e Babylonia n Poe m of th e Righteou s Sufferer" ,
Anatolian
Studies 30 (1980):
104-107 .
Socia l disintegratio n is especiall y stressed : Th e king, th e flesh of
Socia l disintegratio n
is especiall y
stressed :
Th e
king,
th e
flesh
of th e
with
gods, th e
an d
sun
of the
peoples,
his hear t
is enrage d
me ,
canno t be appeased . (I,55f.)
My frien d has becom e foe ,
my companio n
has becom e a wretc h
an d
a devil (I,84f.)
Whe n
my acquaintanc e
sees me ,
he
passes
by
o n
the othe r
side,
My family trea t
me
as
a n
alien. (1,9If.)
Th e
miser y
is
i n
shar p
contras t
t o
th e
fac t
tha t
th e
suffere r
wa s
a
piou s
an d
righteous
man ;
s o
hi s
sufferin g is no t justified :
Fo r myself, I gave attentio n
to supplication an d
prayer :
T o
me , praye r was discretion, sacrifice my rule . (II,23f.)
Th e
sufferin g ha s a
fo r misfortun e
religiou s dimension . Th e traditiona l copin g
strate -
gie s
an d
disintegratio n
hav e
failed :
Th e exorcist
(āšipu) has no t diagnosed th e natur e of my complaint ,
no r
ha s the diviner
(barû) pu t
a time
limit o n
my illness. (11,11 Of.)
Furthermore ,
th e persona l
go d
an d
th e persona
l
goddes s n o
longe r
assum e
thei r protectiv e
duty :
My god
ha s forsaken m e
an d
my goddess
has failed m e
an d
disappeared ,
keeps a distanc e
.
I called
to
my god ,
bu t
h
e
did
no t answe r
I
praye d
t o my goddess,
bu t
she did
no t
m e
raise he r hea d
(II,4f.)
Th
e
disappearin g of th e persona l go d is a commo n
moti f o f laments. 2 0
Bu t
normall y
th e persona l
go d
disappear s
becaus e
o f
faul t
o
f
th e
worshipper .
I n
thi s
case ,
ther e
is
n o
reaso n
fo r
th e
a
inactivit y o f
th e
protectin g
god .
Ther e is a consequenc e
o f thes e fact s whic h
is
draw n
i n a reflexiv e
par t
o f
th e
poem
:
Wha t is prope r
to
oneself is a n
offenc e to one' s
god ,
wha t
in
one' s on e
hear t
seems despicable is
prope r
t o
one' s
god .
Wh o
knows the
will
of
th e
gods in
heaven ?
Wh o
understand s th e plans of the underworl d gods?
Wher e
hav e mortals learn t
th e way
of
a
god?
Wh o
was alive yesterda y is dea d
today ,
Fo r
a
minut e
he was dejected , suddenl y he is exuberant
. (II,34ff.)
20
Som e examples : Foster , Muses : 640ff .
Eventually , th e suffere r get s saved . Th e turnin g poin t
Eventually , th e suffere r get s saved . Th e
turnin g poin t
o f
th e
compo -
sitio n
consist s
o f
a
serie s
o f
thre
e
dreams .
Th e
sinne r
is
released ,
healt h is restored , socia l reintegratio n is accomplished . Th e
individua l
thanksgivin g lead s t o th e traditiona l
invitatio n
fo r
a
commo n
prais e
o f th e redeemin g
god :
Mortals,
Th e poe m
as man y
as they
are ,
give prais e
to
doe s
no t
en d
here ;
th e
final
line s
ar e
Marduk !
badl y damaged ,
it
seem s tha t the y contai n som e practica l aspect s o f th e Mardu k worship .
Th e
tex t
is interestin g i n man y
respects .
I
will
giv e
som e
hints ,
ac -
cordin g t o th e methodologica l guideline s i n th e introductor y paragraph .
-
Th e traditiona l patter n o f th e thanksgivin g poe m is well preserved ,
bu t
i n
th e
text ,
th e
validit y
o f
th e
underlyin g
ritua l
proces s
is
pu t
i n question . Th
e experienc e
o f salvatio n
is transferre d
t o
ne w
leve l
o f
experience , a leve l highe r tha n
th e traditiona l
a
ritua l context .
Th e
autho r o f th e compositio n
is known ,
an d
it is probabl e
tha t
h e
ca n
b e identifie d wit h
a perso n
biographica l
know n
fro
m historica l
texts .
S o
th
e
tex t
deal s wit h
th e
experience s
o f
tha t
man ;
bu t
th e
expe -
riences
a suffere r wh
ca n
b e generalized , the y ca n
b e applie d
t o an y biograph y
o
f
o
fo r experience s
is
no t
satisfie d b y th e traditiona l culti c copin g
strate
-
gie s
o f miser y
an d
temptation .
On e
o f th e importan t
characteristic s o f th e poe m
is
th e
tio n
o f
on e
god , Marduk .
Th e
persona l worshi p o f Mardu k
effectiv e tha n th e traditiona l culti c behavior ; th e innovator y
exalta -
is mor e
persona l
religio n prevail s ove r th
e traditiona l
revaluatio n
cul t
o
f
th e community . Th e
the -
ologica l
aspec t
o f
thi s
consist s
i n
a
theologica l
concen -
tratio n
o n
Marduk .
Th
e
Marduk-religio n
atteste d
i n
thi s
tex t
ha s
a
tendenc y
toward s exclusivism .
Simila r
concentration s
o n
othe r
god s
appea r
i
n
othe r
compositio n
whic h
belon g
t o
thi s
typ e
o f
persona
l
religion. 2 1
Th e
tex t
contain s
a
strikin g
no t ap t
fo r
anthropologica l
reflection :
Huma n
being s
ar e
i n
principl e
t o
recogniz e
th e
god' s
wil l
an
d
essence. 2 2 Thi s
is
th
e reaso n
th e
failur e o f traditiona l
ritual s
an d
21
Th
e
rise
of Mardu
k
in
th e
2n d
milleniu m
wa s directe d
by differen t factors ;
22
Th
e
modification s
o f culti c
genre s
in
a
sapienta l
milie u
ar e
discusse d
in :
F.
Stolz , "Traditio n
oral e et traditio n
écrit e
dan s les religion s
d e
la
Mésopotami e

cf. VV. Sommerfeld , Der Aufstieg Marduks. Die Stellung Marduks in der babylonischen Religion des zweiten Jahrtausends ν. Chr. (Neukirchen/Kevelaer : Neukirchene r Verlag , 1982); as fo r th e proces s of individualizatio n cf. F . Stolz , Einführung in den biblischen Monotheismus (Darmstadt : Wissenschaftlich e Buchgessellschaft , 1996): 46ff.

traditionall y correc t behavio r toward s th e gods . Th e onl y
traditionall y correc t behavio r toward s th e gods . Th e
onl y
wa y
o f
gainin g contac t
wit h
Mardu k
is a revelation
;
th
e
visio n
tha t
mark s
th e turnin g poin t is no t mediate d b y priests . Th e adequat e huma n
reactio n
t o
tha t
revelatio n
consist s
i n
th e
praise :
ludlul bēl nēmeqi—
apātum mala bašû â Marduk
dullā.
All thes e
ne w
feature s
o f
th e
symbo l syste m mak e
th e
persona l
religio n fit
fo r copin g wit h
a
mor e
comple x world . Th e
worl d
orde r
is
n o
longe
r
grante d
b y
commo n
pattern s
o f
understandin g
an d
digestin g
bu t
need s a persona l
effor t t o establis h
a n
ap t
conception .
Th e
go d
o f thi s personall y elaborate d worl d orde r is ambivalent .
A s
th e
introductio
n
shows ,
thi s
experienc e
is
ver
y important .
Th e
tex t
represent s
a copin g strateg y
fo r endurin g
thi s divin e
ambiguity .
Ludlul
bēl nemēqi ha s
ofte n bee n
compare d
wit h
th e
boo k
o f Job
;
i n
fact , ther e
ar e som e simila r problems. 2 3
G .
Lamber t point s t o
an -
othe r
tex t
i n
compariso n
wit h
ludlul—he
call
s
it
"Th e
Babylonia n
Pilgrim's Progress" (Lamber t
1960 ,
27).
S o
I
a m
no t
th e
first
t o
com -
par e
Mesopotamia n
an d
moder n
Christia n
text s o f conversion .
Th e
culti c paradig m
o f lamen t
an d
salvatio n
ha s develope d
int o
a
para
-
dig m
o f
conversion .
Ver y simila r phenomen a
occu r
i n
man y
psalm s
o f
th e
Ol d
Testa -
ment .
Althoug h
th e
theor y
o f
th e
culti c
settin g
o f
th e
genre s
wa s
worke d
ou t
o n
th e
basi s
o f thes e psalms ,
onl y ver y fe w composition s
reall y fit int o th e postulate d patterns . Researc h
o n
th e
genre s o f
th e
Ol d
Testamen t culti c literatur e come s t o a paradox : Th e
reconstruc -
tio n
o f idea l type s o f communicatio n
is possibl e an d
promising—bu t
th e
"pure "
type s
ar e
hardl y
attested .
Th e
underlyin g
pattern s
ar e
still recognizable , bu t th e literar y compositio n represent s a modificatio n
o f
th e
pattern
,
ofte n
a
ver y
radica l
modification .
Thi s
is
eas y
t
o understand . Th e
psalm s wer e
no t
onl y use d
thei r origina l ritua l setting , bu t
als o afte r th e breakdow n
o f
th
Th e
traditiona
l
socia l
an d
culti c
communitie s
cease d
t o
a
Israel ; th e
exis
t
withi n
e cult .
a s
consequenc e o f th e politica l catastrophe s whic h overcam e
exil e wa s th e culminatin g poin t
o f
a
serie s o f historica l
disasters .
Th
e
antique" ,
in :
Ph .
Borgeau d
(Ed.), La mémoire des religions (Genève :
Labo r
et
Fides,
1988): 21-35 ;
F .
Stolz ,
"Vo n
de r Weishei t zu r Spekulation" , in : H.-J . Klimkei t
(Ed.),
Biblische und außerbiblische Spruchweisheit (Wiesbaden : Harrassowitz , 1991): 45-64 .
23
H.-P . Müller , Das Hiobproblem. Seine Stellung und Entstehung im Alten Orient und im
Alten Testament (Darmstadt :
Wissenschaftlich e Buchgesellschaft ,
1978); J.G . Janzen
,
"Th e Plac e of th e Book of
Jo b
in
th e
Histor y o f Israel' s Religion" , in : P.
Miller/P.D .
Hanson/S.D . McBride , Ancient Israelite Religion (Philadelphia : Fortress , 1987): 523-538 .
furthe r transmissio n o f th e psalm s happene d i n ne w
furthe r transmissio n
o f th e psalm s happene d
i n
ne w
conditions—i n
subcultura l circle s whos e worshi p o f Yahwe h di d no t depen d o n
tra -
ditio n
bu t
decision .
milieu s coul d
o n
Genre s
an d
attitude s
o f literatur e
an d
piet y
i n
thes e
b
e
calle d
"post-cultic". 2 4
I t
woul d
b e
ver y
informativ
e
t o
stud y
poem s
suc h
a
s
Psal m
30 ,
a thanksgivin g hym n tha t clearl y show s symptom s o f a
developmen t
comparabl e t o tha t o f ludlul bēl nemēqiP Jus t a fe w remarks :
Th e
introductio n
is
ver y
traditional :
I
will exalt
ο
hast lifted m e
thee ,
Lord ,
tho u
u p
an d
hast
no t
let my enemie s
mak e
merr y
Ο
Lord ,
my
God ,
I
crie d
t o
the e
an d
over me .
tho u
dids t
hea l
m e
.
.
.
(Ps 30,Iff.)
Th e poe m
give s
thank s fo r healin
g
an d
salvation .
Bu t
it
is
no t
onl y
a
matte r
o f restorin g
th e
previou s
o f misery :
qualit y
o f
life .
Th e
suffere r
ha s
learn t
fro m hi s experienc e
Carefre e
as
I
was,
I
ha d
said,
" I
ca n
neve r b e
shaken" .
Th e
suffere r o f ludlul bēl nemēqi an d
th e
suffere r o f Psal
m
30 ,
bot h
righteous
sufferers , ha d
t o
lear n
tha t
th e
divin e
orde r
is
no t
mani -
fes t
i n
th e world .
Thu s
th e
ide a
o f
go d
is shape d
b y
ambiguity :
I n
his ange r
he is disquiet,
in
his favou r ther e
is life.
Tear s ma y linger
bu t jo y
comes in
a t nightfall,
th e morning .
Copin g wit h ambiguit y
is
a n
ai m
o f
man y "post-cultic " psalms , espe -
ciall y
o f
th e
"psalm s o f confidence"—e.g. ,
P s
23 :
Tho u
spreadest
a table
fo r me
in
th e
sight of my
tho u hast
richly bathe d
my hea d with
oil,
an d
my cu p
enemies;
run s over.
Goodness
an d
love unfailing , these will follow me
all
the
days
of my
life,
an d
I
shall
dwell in
the
hous e
of
th e
Lord
my whole
life long.
(Ps
23,5f.)
24
F. Stolz , Psalmen im nachkultischen Raum (Zürich : TVZ
,
1983).
25
Normally ,
Ps
30
is compare d
wit h
text s
of
Egyptia
n
persona l
religion ;
cf.
Κ . Seybold , Die Psalmen. Eine Einfiihrung (Stuttgart : Kohlhammer) :
169ff.; Κ .
Seybold ,
Die Psalmen (Tübingen :
Moh r
1996):
125 .
T o
th e
Egyptia n
text s
i n
question :
J . Assmann , Ägypten. Theologie und Frömmigkeit dner frühen Hochkultur. (Stuttgart :
Kohl -
hammer ,
1984): 22Iff .
I n th e traditiona l culti c pattern , th e proclamatio n o f
I n th e traditiona l culti c pattern , th e proclamatio n
o f confidenc e rep -
resent s
poem s
g
lik e Psal m
a
turnin
point ;
i t
anticipate
s
th e
imminen t
salvation .
I n
23 , confidenc e turn
s
int o
a n
attitude. 2 6
It
goe s
withou t
sayin g
tha t
ther e
ar e
man y
difference s
betwee
n
th e
Mardu k
theolog y
o f
a
compositio n
like
ludlul bēl nemēqi an d
a
Yahwe h
theolog y
a s
represente d
i n
lat e
Ol d
Testamen t
psalms .
However , som e commo n trait s o f transformin g traditiona l culti c reli -
gio n t o innovator y persona l
religio n
ar e
quit e
clear .
2. 3
The hôdajô t
thanksgivin g
of Qumran
Th e
psal m
is
th e
mos t
prominen
t
for m o f praye r
pre -
serve d
i n
th e
Qumra n
literature .
I
a m
no t
abl e
t o
ente r
int o
a n
extende d
discussio n o n
thes e psalms 2 7
bu t
wil l poin t
ou t som e
char -
acteristic s o f th e poem s beginnin g wit h
th e wor d
כ ôd'ka כ "donaj kî.
.
.
Th e
hôdajôt ar e collecte d i n a specia l literar y collection .
Bu t
ther
e
is als o a simila r thanksgivin g psal m
i n a n appendi x
o f
th e
Communit y
Rul e (X,9~XI,22) . Th e
rule s en d
i n colum n
IX ;
i n colum n
X,lb~8
a
ther e
is
a
culti c calenda r
an d
thi s poe m
o f thanksgivin g which ,
how -
ever ,
doe s
no t
begi n
wit h נ ôd'k a ,a donaj kî.
.
.
Term s
othe r tha n hôdâ
ar e
use d
mor e
frequentl y
fo r
th e
prais e
o f
Go d
[hôdâ X,23) .
Th e
tex t
scroll . Ther e
seem s
t o
b e
less
stereotype d
tha n
th e
hôdajôt i n
th e
so-calle d
is
a
debat e
a s
t o whethe r
thanksgivin g
th e lin k betwee n
communit
y
rule ,
culti c
calenda r
an d
psal m
make s
sens e
o r
if
th
e
connectio n betwee n thes e part s is rathe r arbitrary . If w e assum e suc h
a
sense , i t coul d
b e formulate d a s follows : Th e
experienc e o f salvatio n
consist s i n
followin
g
th e
rule s
an d
th e
calenda r
o f
th e
community .
Ther e
is
on e
basi c
healin g
fo r
a n
Israelite : t o
adher e
t o
th e
Qumra
n
community . I thin k thi s interpretatio n
make s
sens e an d is confirme d
b y
a
shor t
overvie w
o f pertinen t
theme s
i n
th e hôdajôt.
26
Bathing , anointin g an d drinkin g hav e a metaphorica l value , cf. H . Spieckermann ,
Heilsgegenwart. Eine Theolope der Psalmen (Göttingen : Vandenhoec k & Ruprecht , 1989):
263fT. However , this interpretatio n
of
th e
tex t is disputed .
Som
e scholar s assum e
a
non-metaphorical ,
concret e
significanc e of th e passage , see S. Mittmann ,
"Aufba u
un d
Einhei t de s Dankliede s
Psal m
23" , Zeitschrift fur
Theologie und Kirche 77 (1980):
I23־ . An overview of possible approaches : J . V . Sandberger , "Hermeneutisch e Aspekte
de r Psalmeninterpretatio n dargestell t a n Psal m 23" , in: K . Seybold/E . Zenge r (Eds.),
Neue Wege der Psalmenforschung (Freiburg : Herder ,
1994): 317344־ . O n th e significanc e
of th e declaratio n
of confidenc e see Stolz , Psalmen :
51-52 .
27
Bibliograph y
t o
th e
literatur e
o n
th e hôdajôt (till
1989) by Ulric h
Dahme n
in
N . Lohfink , Ijobgesänge der Armen (Stuttgart : Katholische s
Bibelwerk ,
1990).
I n man y cases , th e experienc e th e supplican t thank s
I
n man y cases , th e experienc e
th e supplican t thank s fo r is expresse d
i
n
quit e
a
traditiona l
manner—e.g. ,
"tho u
has t
fro m
th e
pit "
(1Q H
111,19), "tho u
has t place d
m e
redeeme d
besid e a
m y
sou l
fountai
n
o f
streams "
(1Q H
VIII,4) , etc .
Bu t
ther e
is
ver y
typica l
variatio n
o f
th e
topic . Sometimes ,
a
th e praye r
expresse s
thankfulnes s
tha t
ha s becom e
a membe r
o f
th e
grou p
h e belong s
to .
Th e
salvatio n
th e speake r
beginnin g
o f a fragmentar y psal m
read s
a s follows :
I
than k
thee ,
my god ,
fo r tho u
hast
no t cast
my lot
in
th e
congrega -
tion of vanity ,
no r hast
tho u
place d
my portio n
in
th e council
forgiveness
of the
cunning .
Tho u
hast led
m e
t o
thy
grac e
an d
(1Q H VII,34ff.)
Ther e is a characteristi c self-understandin g o f
th e congregation .
The y
ar e
th e
"poor "
people :
I
than k
thee ,
ο
hast fastene d thin e eye upo n
Lord ,
fo r tho u
me .
Tho u
hast saved
m e
fro m th e
zeal
of lying
interpreter s
an d fro m th e congregatio n
of thos e
wh o
things.
Tho
u
hast
redeeme d
th e
soul
of th e
poo r
seek smoot h
on e
who m they planne d t o destroy
by spilling his bloo d becaus e
he served
thee . (1Q H 11,3Iff.)
I
than k
thee ,
ο
Lord ,
fo r tho u
hast no t abandone d
the fatherless
o r despised
th e
poor .
.
.
(1Q H
V,20ff.)
Th e
ter m
"poor "
occur s
her e
an d
elsewher e
i n
connectio n
wit h
"fatherless" , "widow " etc.—classi c role s o f sociall y marginalize d
per -
sons .
Th e
psalm s
ha s
"theolog y
ofte n bee n
o f
th e
poor "
o f
Ol d
Testamen t
an d
Qumra n
treated. 2 8 I woul d
lik e
t o
stres s bu t
on e
point .
I
n
"classic " culti c texts ,
t o
b e
poo r
mean s
a n
existenc e i n
th
e
mar -
gin s
o f
society ,
a n
existenc e
grante d
b y
specia l
protectio n
b y
th
e
king .
I n
th e
post-culti c
development ,
th e
ter m
"poor "
become s
a n
auto-designatio n
o f
religiousl y
marginalize d
group s
tha t
se e
them -
selve s
i n
th e
center .
marginalizatio n
ma y
b e
a
n
additiona l
quality , bu t
thi s
is
A socia l
no t
necessary .
S o
w e
becom e
awar e
o f values :
Th e
formerl y precariou s
stat e
o f
th e
poo r
a
ha s becom e
o f
reversa l
a
favore d
state .
I
n
th e
cas e o f Qumran ,
adherenc
e
t o
th e
grou p
ha s withou t
an y
28
28

Especiall y wit h respec t

t o th e hodajôl: Lohfink ,

Lobgesänge .

doub t socia l implications . Th e separatio n o f origina l socia l
doub t socia l implications . Th e separatio n o f
origina l socia l bond s is emphasised :
th e thanksgive r fro m hi s
The y hav e banishe d
m e
fro m my
lan d
like
a
bir d
fro m its
nest;
all
my
friend s an d
brethre n
fa r
fro m m e
an d
hol d
a
they , teacher s of
m e
fo r
broke n
ar e drive n
vessel
An d
lie an d falsehood ,
hav e scheme d against m e a devilish scheme ,
t o exchang e th e law engrave d
in
my hear t
by
the e
fo r th e smoot h things
(which the y speak) to
thy people . (1Q H IV,9ff. ,
cf.
1Q H V 5,23ff.)
Th e
conflic t tha t cause d th e transitio n t o th e communit y
o f
Qumra
n
is situate d
i n
a conflic t o f understandin g
an d
interpretin g
traditio
n
an d
th e
hol y
scriptures .
Th e
opponent s
ar e
constantl y
depicte d
a s
lyin g an d pervertin g interpreters .
Th e
speake r
o f
th e
praise ,
o n
th e
othe r hand ,
is i n possessio n o f supernatura l
knowledge , o f mysterie s
hidde n
t o
th
e enemy .
Sometimes ,
th e
narrativ e
abou t
conflict s betwee n
th e
poo r
seem s
t o
relat e
t o
ver y
concret e
biographica l
details .
That'
s
wh y
man y
scholar s
attribut e
th e
hôdajôt o
r
a t
leas t
a
par
t
o f
it
t o
th e
founde r
o f
th e
Qumra n
community , th e
"teache r o f th e
righteousness". 29
Le t
m
e
cit e
suc h
a
passage :
I
hav e bee n
snar e
t o
thos e wh o rebel ,
bu t
a
healin g t o thos e
of the m
wh o
repent ,
prudenc e t o th e simple
(nimh a re leb)
an d
steadfastness t o th e fearfu l of heart .
T o
traitor s tho u
hast mad e
of
m e
a
mocker y
an d
scor n
bu t a counsel of trut h an d understandin g t o th e uprigh t of way. (II,7ff.)
Eve n
if
th e
"teache r
o f
th
e
righteousness"
wa s
th e
autho r
o f
som e
o f thes e poems ,
h e
wa s
o f cours e
no t
th e
onl y
use r
o f
th e
prayers .
O n
th e contrary ,
t o pra y accordin g
t o
th e
mode l
grou p give s a possibilit y o f identification . W e
e
kno w composition s
o f
th
hea d
o f
th
e
i n
th e Ol d Testamen t wit h analogou s problems : th e so-calle d "confessions "
o f Jeremiah .
Whethe r
o r
no t
the y
g o
bac k
t o
th e
prophe t
himself ,
29
G . Jeremias ,
Der Lehrer der Gerechtigkeit (Göttingen : Vandenhoec k
& Ruprecht ,
1963):
168ff.; P .
Schulz ,
Der Autoritätsanspruch
des Lehrers der Gerechtigkeit
in Qumran
(Meisenheim : Anto n
Hain ,
1974). Opposite :
S . Holm-Nielsen ,
Hodayot. Psalms from
Qumran (Aarhus : Universitetsforlaget ,
1960).
the y enabl e hi s follower s withi n th e propheti c grou p
the y enabl e hi s follower s withi n th e propheti c grou p t o
find
a n
an
d
t o practic e
a n
attitud e
o f piet y accordin g
t o
thi s
ne w
identit y
identity. 3 0
Thi s
ne w identit y is shape d
b y certai n
characteristics .
wil l poin t
th e hôdayôt.
I
ou t
tw o
type s o f speakin g whic h
ar e ver y commo n
i
n
Firstl y ther e
ar e
man y passage s o f reflection. 3 1 Tw o
subjects , ofte
n
linked , ar e
striking : Th e
ide a
o f
th e
vanit y
o f mankin
d
an d
th e
ide a
o f
predestination .
I
than k thee ,
ο
Lord , fo r tho u hast enlightene d me throug h
thy truth .
In thy marvellou s mysteries, an d
vanity]
in
thy loving kindness
to
a
ma n
[of
an d
in
th e greatness of th y merc y
t
o
a pervers e
heart .
Tho u hast grante d m e knowledge
.
Fo r tho u
ar t
all
th y
ways
ar e
an d
ther e
is
eterna l god ;
determine d fo r eve r an d ever,
non e othe r beside thee .
a n
An d wha t
is
a
ma n
of naugh t
an d
vanity ,
tha t he should understan d th y marvellou s
cf. 9,14ff. etc.)
might
y
deeds?
(1Q H 7,26ff.;
Th e
speake r
is
a
sinne r
an d
h e belong s
t o
th e real m
o f vanity ;
how -
ever ,
h
e
is electe d
an d
guide d
b y
go d
i n ever y detail ,
eve n
i
n
hi s think -
ing .
W
e
remembe r th e text s
alread y treated : Th e reflectio n
followin g
th e lamen t patter n regularl y
lead s t o a consideratio n
o f
th
e
weaknes s
an d
limitation s o f man . Th
e
ambivalenc e o f Go d is strongl y
accentu -
ated . Bu t i n thes e psalm s o f Qumra n th e ambiguit y is balance
d
b y
a concep t
o f secre
t knowledg e
reserve d
t o
th e
elec t member s
o f
th
e
community . Th e expressio n o f predestinatio n
is elaborate d
followin g
th e traditiona l pattern s o f hymnod y an d confession s o f confidence : O n
th e
on e hand , electio n is a consequenc e o f divin e omnipotence , o n
th e
other ,
electio n
is
a
subjec t
o f
m
y persona l
convictio n
(cf. 9,29ff.). 3 2
Anothe r typica l elemen t of th e
hôdajôt consists o f apocalypti c fantasies .
Th e enemie s wil l b e annihilate d i n a nea r future .
30
Cf .
Ν
.
Ittmann ,
Die Konfessionen Jeremias. Ihre Bedeutung fur
Propheten
(Neukirchen-Vluyn :
Neukirchene r
Verlag ,
1981);
F.
Ahuis ,
Der klagende
(Stuttgart :
Calwe r
Verlag ,
1982);
K.F .
Pohlmann ,
Die Feme
Gottes—Studien zum
Jeremiabuch (Berlin: D e Gruyter ,
1989): 27ff .
31
G . Morawe , Aufbau und Abgrenzung der
IMieder
von Qumran (Berlin: Evangelisch e
Verlagsanstalt ,
I960) : 78ff.
32
Th e
importanc e
of th e predestinatio n
in th e hôdajôt-compositions
is discusse d
b y
A.
Lange ,
Weisheit und Prädestination (Leiden : Brill,
1995): 195ff.

die Verkündigung des

Gerichtsprophet. Studien zur Klage in der Überlieferung von den alttestamentlichen Gerichtspropheten

An d they, the conceivers of vanity , shall be th e pre y anguish .
An d they, the conceivers of vanity ,
shall be
th e pre y
anguish .
Th e womb s
of th e
of terribl e
pit
shall be
th e pre y
to
all
th e
works of
horror .
Th e foundation s
of th e
wall shall
rock
like
a
ship
upo n
th e
fac e of
th e
waters;
the heaven s shall
roa r
with
a noise
of
roaring ,
an d
thos e wh o dwell
in
the
dust
as well
as thos e
wh o
sail
seas
roarin g of th e
th e
shall b e appalle d
by
th e
waters.
All thei r wise me n
shall b e
like sailors o n
th
e
deeps,
fo r all thei r wisdom
shall b e swallowed
u p
in
th e
midst of th e
howlin g seas
.
(1
Q H
III,24fF.)
Th e
eschatologica l
item s
ar e
treate d
i n
othe r
Qumra n
scripture s
mor e
extensivel y
tha n
i n
th e
hôdajôt (especiall y
1
QM) .
Th e
renc e
o f apocalypti c
sketche
s
i n
thes e psalm s illustrate s th
tio n
o f
suc h
ideas . Thi s
is
th e
crucia l poin t
o f
ou r
shor t
occur -
e connec -
overview .
I
hop e
tha t
th e
arrangemen t
o f
th
e
materia l
ha s
mad e
unneces -
sar y
a
lon g
comment .
Th e
ambiguit
y
o f
Go d
an
d
th e
precariou s
stat e
o f
religiou s
orientatio n
th e grou p
ha s
undergon e
a
disambiguation .
int o complet e
O n
th e
socia l level ,
o f Qumra n
emigrate d
iso -
lation ; tabl e fellowshi p wit h strangers , on e o f th e stronges t expressio n
o f communication ,
is forbidden .
O n
th
e
symboli c
level ,
disambig -
uatio n
is
realize d
i n
differen t
respects :
Mankin d
an d
supernatura l
power s ar e divide d
i n
tw o
hostil e groups ; th e
unattainabilit y
o f
Go d
is balance d
b y
th e
conceptio n
o f revelatio n
an d
predestination .
A s
a whole , privat e religio n ha s develope d int o a subcultura l grou p
reli -
gio n wit h
stron g mechanism s
o f contro l
an d
exclusion .
2. 4
Two New
Testament reminiscences:
The Christ of Mt
11,28
and the
Pharisee of Lk
18,11
I
wil l
finish
m y outloo k
fo r conversio n
pattern s i n a post-culti c
tra -
ditio n
wit h
a
shor t
discussio n
o f
tw o
text s
o f
th e
Ne w
Testament
.
Bot h
o f the m
hav e bee n compare d wit h th e hôdajôt o f Qumran .
But
,
a s
fa r
a s
I
hav e
seen , ther e
ha s
no t
bee
n
a n interna l compariso n
o
f
th e
tw
o
texts .
At
tha t time
Jesu s spoke these words:
I than k
the e
(exomologoumai),
father , lor d
of heave n
an d
earth ,
fo r hidin g
thes e
thing s fro m
th e
learne d an d wise, an d revealin g the m to th e simple. Yes,
learne d an d wise, an d revealin g the m
to
th e simple. Yes, father , such
was thy choice .
Everythin g is entruste d
t o
m e
by
my
father ; an d
n o
on e knows th e son
bu t
th e father , an d
n o
on e knows
th e fathe r bu t
the
son an d those to who m the son ma y choose to reveal him. (Mt 11,28/ /
Luk
10,2 If.)
Th e
Pharise e stood
u p
an d
praye d
thus:
I than k
the e (eucharisto), ο
God , tha t
a m
no t
like
th e
rest of men , greedy , dishonest,
adulter -
ous;
pa y
Th e first
or ,
tithe s on
I
fo r tha t
matter , like
this tax-gatherer .
I
fast twice
a
week; I
all tha t
I
get.
(Luk
18,11)
o f
th e
tw o
text s fits wel l int o ou r observatio n
texts. 3 3 Jesu s thank s
fo r th e revelatio n
tha t is hidde n
t o
o f th e
th e
Qumra n
out-grou p
bu t reveale d t o th e "simple"—on e coul d replac e thi s ter m wit h
"poor" ,
it
.
munit y invite s identification ; th e mutua l knowledg e o f fathe r an d so n
belong s
t o
th e
sam e
category
Th e
Chris t
a s
hea
d
o f
th e
com -
is transmitte d
t o
th e
chose n
member s
o f thi s Christia n
community .
Th e
secon d
o f
th e
tw o
text s fits
wel l
int o
ou r
observation s
o f
th e
Qumra n
texts ,
too. 3 4
Bu t
th e
parabl
e
o f
th e
Pharise e
an d
th e
tax -
gathere r
reflect s a n
allo-stereotyp e
o f
th e
converted :
H e
thank s
fo r
no t
bein g
a s
th e
res t o f mankind— a
typica l sectarian , looke d a t fro m
th e outside . Chris t
an d
th e
Pharise e
than k
i n
a n
analogou s
manner ,
bu t
i
n
on e
cas e
th e
thanksgivin g
is share d
b y
th e
reporter ,
i n
th e
other
,
th e
thanksgivin g
is expose d
a s hypocrisy .
As k
fo r
contempo
-
rar y experience s o f conversion ! Converte d peopl e will tel l yo u
abou t
it
wit h
grea t
respect ,
outsider s will laug h
a t
it .
3 . Conclusions
Wit h
th e
final
remar k
o f
th e
las t paragrap h
I
hav e
returne d
t o
th e
present .
I will conclud e
wit h
som e consideration s
th e
theoretica l
leve l
I
deal t
wit h
i n
th e
introduction .
M y
o n
stud y wa s
a n
exercis e
i n
Comparativ e Religion— a disciplin e tha t normall y work s withou t giv -
in g accoun t
o f th e procedure s
i n
action .
I
thin k
it
will
d o
n o
har m
33
Cf . U . Luz , Das Evangelium nach Matthäus (Zürich/Braunschweig : Neukirchene r
Benziger ,
1990)
199-200.—Th e
us e
of
th e
Qumrani c
formul a of thanksgivin g
in
earl y Christianit y is discusse d by J.M . Robinson , "Di e Hodayot-Forme l in Gebe t
un d Hymnu s de s Urchristentums, " in : W . Elteste r (Hg.), Apopherata (Festschrif t Erns t
Haenchen ;
Berlin : D e Gruyter ,
1964):
194-235 .
34
Cf . J . Fitzmyer , The Gospel According to ÍA1ke A' XXIV
(Garde n City : Double-day ,
1985):
1186.
t o ente r b y th e narro w gat e o f theoretica l
t o
ente
r
b y
th e
narro w
gat e
o f theoretica l
comparison .
o f historica l
self-control . W e
hav e
t o
conside r
th e
differen t level s o f
1)
W e
deal t
wit h
problem s
connection s
i n
th e
stric t
sens e suc h
a s
th e
developmen t
o f culti c institution s
an d
procedure s
an d th e correspondin g literar y genre s withi n on e an d
th e sam e
culture .
2)
I n th e compariso n
o f development s
i n
Israe l
an d
Mesopotami
a
w e
looke d
a t
som e
cultura l
drifts , no t
historica l
connection s
i n
th e
stric t
sense .
W e
outline d
th e
patter n
o f
lamen t
an d
hearin g
a s
a
basi c structur e o f culti c reintegratio n i n cas e o f marginalization .
Thi s
is a n abstraction ,
du e
t o a comparativ e
consideratio n
o f ver y differ -
en t
texts .
However ,
I
thin k
i t
is
a
possibl e
procedure :
Th e
urban -
ize d
an d
sociall y
stratifie d
cultura l
area s
o f
th e
Ancien t
Nea r
Eas t
hav e simila r basi c pattern s o f culti c communicatio n
tha t
ar e
in -
fluenced
b y
a mutua l
thi s
exchange . Thes e
basi c pattern s
ar e
manifes t i n
literar y
genres ;
leve l
correspond s
t o
th e
historica l
processe s
o f
communication .
Th e developmen
t
fro m th e culti c paradig m
o f hearin g
t o
th e
post -
culti c paradig m
o f conversio n
is
no t
situate d
o n
th e
historica l
leve l
i n
th e
stric t sense ,
bu t
o n
th e leve l o f basi c structures—thi s
is
a
leve
l
o f reconstruction .
I t
is
a
kin d
o f "structura l
development "
w e
deal t
with .
O n
thi s level , w e foun d a characteristi c developmen t
o f a
trans
-
formatio n
pattern .
a patter n
Th e
primitiv e
patter n
o f socia l
restitutio n
devel -
op s
int o
o f self-transformatio n o n
th e symboli c
an d
socia l
level . Thi s developmen t
include s a chang e
o f th e religiou s
problem s
tha t
ar e
treated .
Th e
primitiv e
transformatio n
patter n
treat s
prob -
lem s
o f
a n
individua l
wh o
is exclude d
fro m
a
societ y whos e
transformatio n
value
s
an d
norm s
ar e
relativel y
stable . Th e
develope d
pat -
ter n
deal s
wit h
problem s
o f
a n
individua l
wh
o
los t
fait h
i n
th e
mechanism s
o f
socia l
orientation .
I n
ou r
mode
l
o f
describin
g