Temple and tartan - Psalms, poetry and Scotland

Stein, Jock (2021) Temple and tartan - Psalms, poetry and Scotland. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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In this Creative Research Project, Poetry (‘Word and Weave’) and Thesis (‘Temple and Tartan’) make a bifocal engagement with the Old Testament Psalms to provide new insights. The Thesis examines how other poets have responded to the Psalms, and considers their reception history in Scotland. It shows how this creative response to the Psalms was birthed, shaped and developed using seven distinct roles of the poet.

The first chapter introduces the writer and his poetry, and the Old Testament Psalms, along with a Practice Review. With the poet as enquirer, it explains how Word and Weave was planned in five sections, like the Psalms themselves. With the poet as interpreter, the poetry is placed in the wider context of hermeneutics, inspiration and exegesis, how other poets have treated Psalms, and how Psalms 1 and 2 frame the poetry as well as the Psalms themselves.

‘Temple’ - a contemporary key to understanding OT theology – links the material present of politics and personal experience with the transcendent, where the poet is wonder-struck. ‘Tartan’, with its complex history and its links with music, introduces synaesthesia, and shows the poet as dresser (even sometimes closet rebel).

The poet as curator remembers and presents history in chosen ways, as in epic poetry. Themes of character, rule and equality – in early Scotland, medieval Scotland, and reformation Scotland – are central to the Psalms, and run through many of the individual poems. The poet is also prophet: in Word and Weave the poetry picks up both the identity of Israel and the sense of identity of Scots past still live with.

Finally the poet as weaver works the creative research of this Project into a vision for Scotland today, using a lens of five key words – lines, tribes, land, capital, leaders – and the Thesis adds a postscript on the theology uncovered.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts > School of Critical Studies
Supervisor's Name: Gay, Rev. Doug and Riach, Professor Alan
Date of Award: 2021
Depositing User: Theses Team
Unique ID: glathesis:2021-82294
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 01 Jul 2021 14:02
Last Modified: 09 Jul 2021 14:56
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.82294
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/82294

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