The function of lament in Lamentations 2 : a close reading of Lam 2 related to the use of the Bible in pastoral care
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This thesis will focus on Lam 2, but also seek to find a way of using what I find in the analysis of Lam 2 in the practice of pastoral care. The main focus will be on the exegetical work on Lam 2, because I think it is crucial to have a profound understanding of the original meaning and context of the text in order to find ways of using it today. I start my work in Chapter 2 by presenting my method and also give a general background of Lam 2, which also will include an introduction to the city lament genre. As we will see in the coming chapter, Lam 2 shares some important features with the ANE city lament genre. It is important to understand the relation between the ANE city laments and Lam 2 because if the personified Jerusalem shares any features with the deified cities in the ANE city laments, this will inform our understanding of the personified Jerusalem. Chapter 3 will focus on what I call “Opening Questions,” where different theories regarding authorship, genre, time of composition and the structure of Lam 2, will be followed by a close reading of Lam 2 in Chapter 4. The close reading of Lam 2 will follow the outline of the text that I present in Chapter 3. Following the analysis, I will present a theological discussion of Lam 2 in Chapter 5, where I will discuss where God is in Lam 2. This discussion will function as a bridge between the analysis of Lam 2 and the pastoral care part of the thesis, starting in Chapter 6, addressing how Lam 2 is relevant to the practice of pastoral care. There, I will present three different ways of using the Bible in pastoral care: the instructional, the dynamic and the disclosive use of the Bible. Each of the theories will be discussed in order to find the most helpful method of finding the function of lament in Lam 2, which will be done in Chapter 7. Chapter 8, the final chapter, will summarize the main insights found in the text and the application of Lam 2 in pastoral care before I will offer my conclusion. The translation of Lam 2 and the bibliography list will follow Chapter 8.