Ritual Mourning in Daniel’s Interpretation of Jeremiah’s Prophecy
Keywords:Second Temple Judaism, Book of Daniel, Rumination, Grief
This essay examines the biblical passage of Daniel 9 in light of the second chapter of Patrick McNamara’s book the Neuroscience of Religious Experience (2009). This biblical text is one in which Daniel performs funerary rites and prayers, acts that generate a visionary experience of an angel who reveals to him a revised interpretation of Jeremiah’s prophecy concerning the seventy-year duration of the exile. The author proposes that the experience of grief aroused by the ritualized mourning and the performance of prayer elements that emphasize petition and confession of sin, succeeds in layering experiences of self-diminishment. Ruminative behavior that characterizes grief is understood as an imaginative practice (Boyer 2009) that makes present a deity who would have been otherwise obscured given the political circumstances of the second-century historical context of the Book of Daniel and allows for the adaptive modification of Jeremiah’s prestigious prophecy by a much later second-century community.
Archer, J., and H. Fisher. 2011 . “Bereavement and Reactions to Romantic Rejection: A Psychobiological Perspective”. In Handbook of Bereavement Research and Practice, eds. M. S. Stroebe, R. O. Hansson, H. Schut and W. Stroebe, 349–71. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
Ariès, P. 1981. The Hour of Our Death: The Classic History of Western Attitudes toward Death Over the Last One Thousand Years. London: Allen Lane.
Barrett, J. L. 2001. “How Ordinary Cognition Informs Petitionary Prayer”. Journal of Cognition and Culture 1(3): 259–69. http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/156853701753254404
Bautch, R. 2012. “The Formulary of Atonement (Lev. 16:21) in Penitential Prayers of the Second Temple Period”. In The Day of Atonement: Its Interpretations in Early Jewish and Christian Traditions, eds. T. Hieke and T. Nicklas, 33–45. Leiden: Brill.
Bonanno, G. A. 2001. “Grief and Emotion: A Social-Functional Perspective”. In Handbook of Bereavement Research: Consequences, Coping, and Care, eds. M. S. Stroebe, R. O. Hansson, W. Stroebe and H. Schut, 493–516. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/10436-021
Boyer, P. 2009. “What are Memories For? Functions of Recall in Cognition and Culture”. In Memory in Mind and Culture, eds. P. Boyer and J. V. Wertsch, 3–28. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511626999.002
Boyer, P., and P. Liénard. 2006a. “Whence Collective Rituals? A Cultural Selection Model of Ritualized Behavior”. American Anthropologist 108(4): 814–27. http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/aa.2006.108.4.814
—2006b. “Why Ritualized Behavior? Precaution Systems and Action Parsing in Developmental, Pathological and Cultural Rituals”. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 29(6): 595–613. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/s0140525x06009332
Bray, P. 2014. “Accentuating the Positive: Self-actualising Post-traumatic Growth Processes”. In How Trauma Resonates: Art, Literature, and Theoretical Practice, ed. M. Callaghan, 149–62. Oxford: Inter-Disciplinary Press.
Calhoun, L. G., R. G. Tedeschi, A. Cann and E. A. Hanks. 2010. “Positive Outcomes Following Bereavement: Paths to Posttraumatic Growth”. Psychologica Belgica 50(1-2): 125–43. http://dx.doi.org/10.5334/pb-50-1-2-125
Calhoun, L. G., and R. G. Tedeschi. 1999. Facilitating Posttraumatic Growth: A Clinician’s Guide. New York: Routledge.
Carnicke, S. M. 2009. Stanislavsky in Focus: An Acting Master for the Twenty-First Century, 2nd edn. New York: Routledge.
Chaniotis, A. 2011. “Emotional Community through Ritual. Initiates, Citizens, and Pilgrims as Emotional Communities in the Greek World”. In Ritual Dynamics in the Ancient Mediterranean: Agency, Emotion, Gender, Representation, ed. A. Chaniotis, 264–90. Stuttgart: Steiner Verlag.
—2013. “Staging and Feeling the Presence of God: Emotion and Theatricality in Religious Celebrations in the Roman East”. In Panthée: Religious Transformations in the Graeco-Roman Empire, eds. L. Bricault and C. Bonnet, 169–89. Leiden: Brill. http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/9789004256903_009
Chazon, E. G. 2006. “Scripture and Prayer in ‘The Words of the Luminaries’”. In Prayers that Cite Scripture, ed. J. L. Kugel, 25–41. Cambridge: Harvard University.
Coblentz Bautch, K. 2010. “Mythic Geography”. In The Eerdmans Dictionary of Early Judaism, eds. J. J. Collins and D. C. Harlow, 673–74. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans.
Collins, J. J. 1993. Daniel: A Commentary on the Book of Daniel, ed. F. M. Cross. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press.
Csordas, T. 1990. “Embodiment as a Paradigm for Anthropology”. Ethos 18(1): 5–47. http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/eth.1990.18.1.02a00010
—1994. The Sacred Self. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.
Desjarlais, R., and C. J. Throop. 2011. “Phenomenological Approaches in Anthropology”. Annual Review of Anthropology 40: 87–102. http://dx.doi.org/10.1146/annurev-anthro-092010-153345
Dixon, T. 2003. From Passions to Emotions. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511490514
Duhaime, J. 1988. “The War Scroll from Qumran and the Greco-Roman Tactical Treatises”. Revue de Qumrân 13: 133–51.
Ebersole, G. 2004. “The Function of Ritual Weeping Revisited: Affective Expression and Moral Discourse”. Reprinted in Religion and Emotion, ed. J. Corrigan, 185–222. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Eisma, M. C., M. S. Stroebe, H. A. W. Schut, W. Stroebe, P. A. Boelen and J. van den Bout. 2013. “Avoidance Processes Mediate the Relationship between Rumination and Symptoms of Complicated Grief and Depression Following Loss”. Journal of Abnormal Psychology 122(4): 961–70. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0034051
Gallagher, S. 2001. “The Practice of Mind: Theory, Simulation, or Primary Interaction?” Journal of Consciousness Studies 8(5-7): 83–108.
Geertz, A. W. 2010. “Brain, Body and Culture: A Biocultural Theory of Religion”. Method and Theory in the Study of Religion 22(4): 304–321. http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/157006810X531094
Gillmayr-Bucher, S. 2004. “Body Images in the Psalms”. Journal for the Study of the Old Testament 28(3): 301–26. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/030908920402800304
Goodkin, K., T. T. Baldewicz, N. T. Blaney, D. Asthana, M. Kumar, P. Shapshak, B. Leeds, J. E. Burkhalter, D. Rigg, M.D. Tyll, J. Cohen and W. L. Zheng. 2008. “Physiological Effects of Bereavement and Bereavement Support Group Interventions”. In Handbook of Bereavement Research: Consequences, Coping, and Care, eds. M. S. Stroebe et al., 671-703. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
Haag, J. W., and W. A. Bauman. 2012. “De/Constructing Transcendence: The Emergence of Religious Bodies”. In Religion and the Body: Modern Science and the Construction of Religious Meaning, eds. D. Cave and R. S. Norris, 37–55. Leiden: Brill. http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/9789004225343_004
Harkins, A. K. 2012. Reading with an “I” to the Heavens. Ekstasis 3. Berlin: de Gruyter.
—2015. “A Phenomenological Study of Penitential Elements and Their Strategic Arousal of Emotion in the Qumran Hodayot (1QH cols. 1[?]-8)”. In Ancient Jewish Prayers and Emotions: A Study of the Emotions Associated with Prayer in the Jewish and Related Literature of the Second Temple Period, eds. R. Egger-Wenzel and S. C. Reif, 297-316. Berlin: de Gruyter.
Henrich, J. 2009. “The Evolution of Costly Displays, Cooperation and Religion: Credibility Enhancing Displays and their Implications for Cultural Evolution”. Evolution and Human Behavior 30(4): 244–60. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2009.03.005
Iacoboni, M. 2008. Mirroring People: The New Science of How We Connect with Others. New York, NY: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
King, D. 2013. “Galen and Grief: The Construction of Grief in Galen’s Clinical Work”. In Unveiling Emotions II. Emotions in Greece and Rome: Texts, Images, Material Culture, eds. A. Chaniotis and P. Ducrey, 251–72. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag.
Konstan, D. 2006. The Emotions of the Ancient Greeks: Studies in Aristotle and Classical Literature. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
Kuzmi?ová, A. 2012.“Presence in the Reading of Literary Narrative: A Case for Motor Enactment”. Semiotica 189(1): 23–48. http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/semi.2011.071
Lambert, D. 2003. “Fasting as a Penitential Rite: A Biblical Phenomenon?” Harvard Theological Review 96(4): 477–512. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0017816003000531
Lipinski, E. 1969. La Liturgie pénitentielle dans la Bible. Paris: Cerf.
Luhrmann, T. M. 2012. When God Talks Back. New York, NY: Knopf.
Luhrmann, T. M., and R. Morgain. 2012. “Prayer as Inner Sense Cultivation: An Attentional Learning Theory of Spiritual Experience”. Ethos 40(4): 359–89. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1548-1352.2012.01266.x
McNeill, J. T. ed. 1960. Calvin: Institutes of the Christian Religion. 2 Vols, trans. F. L. Battles, Philadelphia, PA: Westminster/John Knox Press.
Mahmood, S. 2001. “Feminist Theory, Embodiment, and the Docile Agent: Some Reflections on the Egyptian Islamic Revival”. Cultural Anthropology 16(2): 202–36. http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/can.2001.16.2.202
—2011 . Politics of Piety. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Martin, L. L., and A. Tesser. 1996. “Clarifying Our Thoughts”. In Ruminative Thoughts. Advances in Social Cognition 9, ed. Robert S. Wyer, Jr., 189–208. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.
McNamara, P. 2009. The Neuroscience of Religious Experience. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511605529
Merkur, D. 1989. “The Visionary Practices of Jewish Apocalypticists”. In The Psychoanalytic Study of Society vol. 14, eds. L. Bryce Boyer and Simon A. Grolnick, 119-48. New York: Routledge.
Mittermaier, A. 2011. Dreams that Matter: Egyptian Landscapes of the Imagination. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.
Newman, J. H. 1999. Praying By the Book: The Scripturalization of Prayer in Second Temple Judaism. Atlanta, GA: Scholars Press.
Newsom, C. A. 2014. The Book of Daniel. Philadelphia, PA: Westminster/John Knox Press.
Neyrey, J. H. 1980. “The Absence of Jesus’ Emotions – The Lucan Redaction of Lk 22, 39- 46”. Biblica 61: 153–71.
Nongbri, B. 2013. Before Religion: A History of a Modern Concept. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. http://dx.doi.org/10.12987/yale/9780300154160.001.0001
Schüler, S. 2012. “Synchronized Ritual Behavior: Religion, Cognition, and the Dynamics of Embodiment”. In Religion and the Body: Modern Science and the Construction of Religious Meaning, eds. D. Cave and R. S. Norris, 81–101. Leiden: Brill. http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/9789004225343_006
Shear, M. K. 2012. “The Cutting Edge: Getting Straight about Grief”. Depression and Anxiety 29(6): 461–64. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/da.21963
Smith, E. R. 2008. “Social Relationships and Groups: New Insights on Embodied and Distributed Cognition”. Cognitive Systems Research 9: 24–32. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cogsys.2007.06.011
Sosis, R. 2004. “The Adaptive Value of Religious Ritual: Rituals Promote Group Cohesion by Requiring Members to Engage in Behavior that is Too Costly to Fake”. American Scientist 92(2): 166–72. http://dx.doi.org/10.1511/2004.46.928
Steck, O. H. 1967. Israel und das gewaltsame Geschick im Alten Testament. Neukirchen–Vluyn: Neukirchener.
Todd, C. 2013. “Attending Emotionally to Fiction”. Journal of Value Inquiry 46(4): 449–65. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10790-013-9358-0
Tomasino, A. J. 1995. “Daniel and the Revolutionaries: The Use of the Daniel Tradition by Jewish Resistance Movements of Late Second Temple Palestine”. PhD dissertation. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
—2008. “Oracles of Insurrection: The Prophetic Catalyst of the Great Revolt”. Journal of Jewish Studies 59: 86–111. http://dx.doi.org/10.18647/2776/JJS-2008
Walter, T. 2008. “The New Public Mourning”. In Handbook of Bereavement Research and Practice: Advances in Theory and Intervention, eds. M. S. Stroebe et al., 241–62. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/14498-012
Weitzman, S. 2009. “Warring against Terror: The War Scroll and the Mobilization of Emotion”. Journal for the Study of Judaism 40: 213–41. http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/157006309X410653
Wilson, G. H. 1990. “The Prayer of Daniel 9: Reflection on Jeremiah 29”. Journal for the Study of the Old Testament 48: 91–99. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/030908929001504808
Wolfson, E. R. 2011. A Dream Interpreted Within a Dream: Oneiropoiesis and the Prism of Imagination. Brooklyn, NY: Zone Books.