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Old Testament Essays

versión On-line ISSN 2312-3621
versión impresa ISSN 1010-9919

Old testam. essays vol.25 no.1 Pretoria  2012


Making things from the heart: On works of beauty in the Old Testament



James Alfred Loader

Vienna and Pretoria





Following on a study of the perception of human beauty in the Old Testament, this article proposes to extend the topic by enquiring into the perception of what is beautiful in that which humans do. Apart from pictorial art, five spheres of human achievement perceived to be beautiful are considered, namely crafts, music, words, wisdom and food. Within these, the work of artisans, accomplishments of the mining industry, so-called sacred and profane forms of music, the self-conscious creation of poetic beauty, aesthetic judgements on wisdom and culinary enjoyment are surveyed. It is concluded that the main characteristics of the beauty concept related to things tally with those related to humans. The results warrant a further extension of the investigation to include at least the beauty of God and the relevance of the concept in the cult.



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Prof. Dr. James Alfred Loader
Faculty of Theology, University of Vienna, Schenkenstrasse 8-10, A-1010 Vienna
Professor Extraordinarius in the Department of Old Testament and Ancient Near Eastern Studies
P.O. Box 392, Unisa, 0003
South Africa and in the Department of Ancient Languages and Cultures
Faculty of Theology at the University of Pretoria

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