The Senses of Scripture: Sensory Perception in the Hebrew Bible

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Bloomsbury Publishing USA, Jun 15, 2012 - Religion - 328 pages
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The Senses of Scripture reveals the essence of biblical epistemology - the ways in which ancient Israelites thought about and used their sensorium. The theoretical introduction demonstrates that scholars need to liberate themselves from the Western bias that holds a pentasensory paradigm and prioritises the sense of sight. The discussion of the biblical material demonstrates that biblical scholars should follow a similar path.

Through examination of associative and contextual patters the author reaches a septasensory model, including sight, hearing, speech, kinaesthesia, touch, taste, and smell. It is further demonstrated that the senses, according to the HB, are a divinely created physical experience, which symbolised human ability to act in a sovereign manner in the world. Despite the lack of a biblical Hebrew term 'sense', it seems that at times the merism sight and hearing serves that matter. Finally, the book discusses the longstanding dispute regarding the primacy of sight vs. hearing, and claims that although there is no strict sensory hierarchy evident in the text, sight holds a central space in biblical epistemology.

 

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Contents

COMMON SENSE
1
Chapter 1 MAKING SENSE OF THE SENSORIUM
4
The Sensorium in Biblical Scholarship
17
Theoretical Considerations
31
Methodological Considerations
55
Chapter 2 NUMBER OUR SENSES
65
Sight and Hearing
69
Kinaesthesia
75
Towards a Definition
183
Chapter 4 THEOLOGY OF THE SENSES
189
Harming the Senses
196
Sensory Disabilities
206
Summary
220
Theology and the Sensory Category
221
Chapter 5 THE CENTRALITY OF SIGHT IN BIBLICAL EPISTEMOLOGY
223
Sight and Evidence
225

Speech
84
Taste
93
Olfactory
103
Touch
106
Towards a Septasensory Model
109
DEFINITION
113
Sense and Soma
114
Sense and Sovereignty
130
Sight and Sovereignty
248
Supreme Sight
263
Conclusion
274
THE SENSES OF SCRIPTURE
277
Bibliography
280
Index of References
293
Index of Authors
309
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About the author (2012)

Yael Avrahami is a lecturer for Biblical Studies at Oranim College and the University of Haifa, Israel.

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