The Psalms and ‘self-talk’
Dr Rebecca Watson, our Director of Studies, spent early January fruitfully at the Winter Meeting of the Society for Old Testament Study. Here Rebecca gives us a short update on their discussions.
I really enjoyed this year’s Society for Old Testament Study winter meeting in Sheffield. Megan Daffern, formerly DDO in the Diocese of Ely, gave a fascinating paper. Many of you will know Megan as an ERMC tutor who taught Introduction to the Old Testament and Biblical Hebrew modules last year. Megan summarised the topic of her paper on the Psalms for this blog:
“Did you know that the Psalms are not only either talk to or talk about God – but that they also include examples of how to talk to ourselves? Self-address in the context of prayer – like “seek rest, my soul” (Ps. 62:6) – can help us to relate well to ourselves, in the hearing of the compassionate God and the company of like-minded friends. Whether it’s “Arise, my glory!” (57:9), “Why are you so low, my soul?” (42:6), or “Bless the LORD, my soul!” (103:1), the idea of self-talk (familiar in psychology as your inner voice, or the way you talk to yourself throughout the day) as positively self-developmental is even richer in the context of the audience of prayer.”
Another high point of the conference for me was a drinks reception in memory of Elizabeth Harper, who was formerly Director of Studies and Vice-Principal of ERMC. Elizabeth was a dedicated member of the society having served as its hospitality secretary and faithfully attended its conferences even when her health was declining. She also left a legacy to SOTS in her will for which we are enormously grateful.
Many of the meeting’s speakers were current or former staff of TEIs, and the current President, Katherine Dell, who is a Professor in the Divinity Faculty in Cambridge, began her career as lecturer in Old Testament at Ripon College, Cuddesdon, near Oxford.
To find out more about the Society for Old Testament Study visit www.sots.ac.uk