What Is It Like to Be a Psalmist?: Unintentional Sin and Moral Agency in the Psalter

This article takes up the problem of unintentional sin in Psalms 19, 90, and 119 to ask what it was like to be a psalmist on the issue of moral agency. In contrast to some reconstructions of ancient Israelite (and Near Eastern) religion, I argue that concerns about intentionality—specifically its la...

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Bibliographic Details
Published in:Journal for the study of the Old Testament
Main Author: Strawn, Brent A. 1970-
Format: Electronic Article
Language:English
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Published: Sage 2015
In: Journal for the study of the Old Testament
Year: 2015, Volume: 40, Issue: 1, Pages: 61-78
Further subjects:B Psalm
B Consciousness
B Zombies
B Intention
B Sin
B Moral Agency
Online Access: Volltext (lizenzpflichtig)
Parallel Edition:Electronic
Description
Summary:This article takes up the problem of unintentional sin in Psalms 19, 90, and 119 to ask what it was like to be a psalmist on the issue of moral agency. In contrast to some reconstructions of ancient Israelite (and Near Eastern) religion, I argue that concerns about intentionality—specifically its lack—indicate that the psalmists were not akin to philosophical zombies: what psalmists did mattered along with how they did it, with knowledge or without. I situate this psalmic way of being with reference to sin vis-à-vis Carol Newsom's work on moral agency in the Hebrew Bible, arguing that moral agency in the Psalms (at least on this matter) nuances some of the categories offered thus far.
ISSN:1476-6728
Contains:Enthalten in: Journal for the study of the Old Testament
Persistent identifiers:DOI: 10.1177/0309089215605795