The Psychology of Place Attachment and Psalm 128

  • Hendrik Viviers University of Johannesburg


The Psychology of Place Attachment confirms the cognitive-emotional bond that humans, since early times, have with a specific place. A material place is not only shaped physically and psychologically/spiritually by its inhabitants, but it in turn also shapes them, as it mediates the meanings ascribed to it through its sensuous presence. Appreciating Ps 128 through the “readerly lens” of place attachment (also as part of the ma‘a alôt-collection and Psalter as a whole), it was found that the poet(s) of this wisdom (-Torah ethical) psalm intuitively grasped the psychological benefits that a place exerts on its inhabitants. The experiences of memory, belonging, positive emotions, privacy and reflection, comfort and security, entertainment and aesthetics are reflected in the psalm. Both the small, intimate household and larger community Zion/Jerusalem, mediate Yahweh’s presence and blessing, also as a retributive response to a wise life-style. Zion/Jerusalem and all it encompasses, become the centre of the universe, the place par excellence for a fulfilled life.

Author Biography

Hendrik Viviers, University of Johannesburg
Dept of Religion Studies, Professor


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