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Why? How Long? Studies on Voice(s) of Lamentation Rooted in Biblical Hebrew Poetry

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This volume is born out of two years of academic presentations on laments in the Biblical Hebrew Poetry Section at the Society of Biblical Literature (2006-2007). The topics of these papers are gathered around the theme of "voice." The two parts to this volume: 1) provide fresh readings of familiar texts as they are read through the lens of lamentation, and 2) deepen our understanding of Israel and God as lamenter and lamentee. In the second section the focus on topics such as Israel's "unbelieving faith" (i.e., strong accusations against the God on whom they have complete reliance and trust), the unrighteous lamenter, and God's acceptance and rejection of the people's lament(s), deepens our understanding of Israel's culture and practice of lamentation. The final essay notes how the expression of despair is in tension with the poetic devices that contain it.