Original Research - Special Collection: Eben Scheffler Festschrift

New perspectives on Old Testament oneirocritic texts via the philosophy of dreaming

Jaco Gericke
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 75, No 3 | a5001 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v75i3.5001 | © 2019 Jaco Gericke | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 03 April 2018 | Published: 25 March 2019

About the author(s)

Jaco Gericke, Department of Ancient Texts, Faculty of Theology, North-West University, Vanderbijlpark, South Africa


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Abstract

Recourse to auxiliary disciplines has greatly contributed to the ways in which biblical scholars seek to elucidate various dimensions of meaning in textual constructions of dreams and dreaming in the Old Testament. The original contribution this article hopes to make to the ongoing research on associated oneirocritic topoi is to propose the so-called philosophy of dreaming as a potential dialogue partner to supplement already available perspectives within the multidisciplinary discussion. At present, there is no descriptive philosophical approach exclusively devoted to the identification and clarification of the folk-philosophical assumptions implicit in oneirocritic materials as conditions of their possibility. By way of comparative-philosophical commentary, the article features a brief introduction to the related research within Old Testament studies, an overview of the history and problems of the auxiliary subject, and an illustration of how the new approach might look when applied to texts involving ‘oneirophany’ (Gn 15:1–21, 20:3–6, 28:11–17 and 1 Ki 3:5–15). The study concludes with a few remarks on the limits of the proposal and suggestions for more extensive and in-depth future research in related and alternative areas.

Keywords

Old Testament; research methodology; biblical criticism; philosophical approaches; philosophy of dreaming; comparative philosophy

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