The theme of hardening in the book of Isaiah :an analysis of communicative action

Uhlig, Torsten (2005) The theme of hardening in the book of Isaiah :an analysis of communicative action. PhD thesis, University of Gloucestershire.

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This thesis investigates the theme of hardening in the Book of Isaiah from the perspective of an analysis of communicative action. It modifies the communicative approach of rhetorical analysis so that the different communicative acts, which have been elucidated by speech-act theory, are taken into account more comprehensively. This distinctive approach is justified by the determination of a prophetic book as a means of intermediation between YHWH and the people. Applying the analysis of communicative action, the present study presents a distinctive interpretation of 'hardening' in the Book of Isaiah. It takes up previous studies, which have noted the frequent occurrence of the theme of hardening in the Book of Isaiah, but goes beyond them in analysing several relevant passages in detail and in clarifying their role within the overall communicative strategy of the Book of Isaiah. It thereby makes also a contribution to the interpretation of the Book of Isaiah as a whole. The study seeks to show that what is commonly referred to as 'hardening' (and its reversal) are presented as communicative acts in Isa and are performed as such acts through the means of the prophetic book of Isaiah. And it is argued that in respect to the theme of hardening we deal with the aspect of communication in view of righteousness, the main issue of the Book of Isaiah. After a survey of previous studies about the theme of hardening in the whole Book of Isaiah and a clarification of the analysis of communicative action in chapter 1, chapter 2 illumines the context of the theme of hardening in discussing the historical setting of the Book of Isaiah in the early post-exilic era, in noting the different proclamations of Isaiah (Isa 1-39) and a new prophet (Isa 40-66) in Isa, in identifying its addressees in Babylon and Judah, and in clarifying the concept of 'connective righteousness' and its application in the Book of Isaiah. Chapters 3-8 discuss in detail the single units Isa 6; 42:18-25; 48:1-11; 50; 56:9-57:2 and 63:7-64:11 and clarify also how these passages fit into the strategy of communicative action in the wider context, which includes further notes on other relevant passages. It is substantiated that in the proclamation of YHWH's judgement of his people in Isa 1-39, the hardening message of Isaiah is the judgement of their misguided communication; but proclaiming the restoration of the people's righteousness in Isa 40-66, the de-hardening message of the new prophet restores also their abilities to communicate, i.e. to perceive and to understand.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
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Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BS The Bible
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Creatives
Depositing User: Anne Pengelly
Date Deposited: 08 Jun 2022 10:49
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2023 08:57

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