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In Search of SoulHip-Hop, Literature, and Religion$
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Alejandro Nava

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780520293533

Published to California Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520293533.001.0001

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On Hebrew Soul

On Hebrew Soul

De Eloquentia Vulgaria

(p.51) 2 On Hebrew Soul
In Search of Soul

Alejandro Nava

University of California Press

This chapter begins with a consideration of the terminology of nephesh in the Hebrew Bible, and also explores the meaning of this concept from a more elevated, bird's-eye perspective—one that surveys the dense, tangled forest of the soul from a literary and narrative perspective. Because the concept of the soul is the product of a story—a “living book” as Teresa of Ávila said—this chapter attempts to unspool the narrative threads of this story, with a specific focus on the way the Bible commingles tragedy and comedy and hence weaves together its drama with high and low strands of thought. The result is a pattern that features, in bold color, the sensibilities of the outcast, the outsider, and the downtrodden, so that if one can speak of the heart and soul of the Bible, it will be found in the Bible's predilection for these themes.

Keywords:   nephesh, Hebrew Bible, Hebrew soul, narrative threads, outcast, outsider, downtrodden

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