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The Prophetic Imagination, 2nd Edition [Paperback]

By Walter Brueggemann (Author)
Our Price $ 16.15  
Retail Value $ 19.00  
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Item Number 145555  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   176
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.4" Width: 5.5" Height: 0.5"
Weight:   0.55 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jun 1, 2001
Publisher   Augsburg Fortress Publishers
ISBN  0800632877  
EAN  9780800632878  

Availability  16 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 28, 2016 02:35.
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Item Description...
In this challenging and enlightening treatment, Brueggemann traces the lines from the radical vision of Moses to the solidification of royal power in Solomon to the prophetic critique of that power with a new vision of freedom in the prophets. Here he traces the broad sweep from Exodus to Kings to Jeremiah to Jesus. He emphasizes that the prophetic vision not only embraces the pain of the people but creates an energy amazement based on the new thing that God is doing. In this new edition, Brueggemann has completely revised the text, updated the notes, and added a new preface.

Publishers Description
In this challenging and enlightening treatment, Brueggemann traces the lines from the radical vision of Moses to the solidification of royal power in Solomon to the prophetic critique of that power with a new vision of freedom in the prophets. Here he traces the broad sweep from Exodus to Kings to Jeremiah to Jesus. He highlights that the prophetic vision and not only embraces the pain of the people but creates an energy and amazement based on the new thing that God is doing. In this new edition, Brueggemann has completely revised the text, updated the notes, and added a new preface.

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More About Walter Brueggemann

Walter Brueggemann

Walter Brueggemann is William Marcellus McPheeters Professor of Old Testament Emeritus at Columbia Theological Seminary.

Walter Brueggemann has published or released items in the following series...

  1. Abingdon Old Testament Commentaries
  2. Augsburg Old Testament Studies
  3. Connections
  4. Essential Guide
  5. Facets
  6. Interpretation: A Bible Commentary
  7. Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching & Preaching
  8. Library of Biblical Theology
  9. Literary Currents in Biblical Interpretation
  10. New Cambridge Bible Commentary
  11. New Interpreter's Bible
  12. Old Testament Theology
  13. Overtures to Biblical Theology
  14. Shalom Resource
  15. Smyth & Helwys Bible Commentary
  16. Understanding Biblical Themes
  17. Westminster Bible Companion

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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Authors, A-Z > ( B ) > Brueggemann, Walter   [72  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Criticism & Interpretation > Old Testa   [1604  similar products]
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > General   [10297  similar products]
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Old Testament > Study   [3032  similar products]
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Old Testament   [0  similar products]
6Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Theology > Old Testament   [695  similar products]

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Paperback Theology's Review of The Prophetic Imagination  May 23, 2008
Walter Brueggemann's "The Prophetic Imagination" delivers a clear call for the role of the prophet in the ongoing life of the church. This book is simply a must read for anyone serving on a church staff. Although it can be difficult to navigate at some points, it is well worth the effort. Brueggemann is one of the world's leading Old Testament scholars yet he maintains a knack for writing with the church in mind. His description of the "Royal Consciousness," connected with Solomon and the "satiation" of that society is actually quite cutting socio-political commentary for today.

A Book That Brings Perspective  May 10, 2008
The Prophetic Imagination is a profound and illuminating book, applying observations of the socio-political tensions in the Biblical narrative, and touching on human psychology. The observations, then, facilitate a close comparison of the imperial critique found within scripture and that of present consumerist society; This book effectively extends the imperial critique found in scripture to the present day empire. In doing so, Brueggeman nicely demonstrates the kind of message that needs to be heard today. Brueggeman uses the condition and the message found in the biblical narrative from Moses and the Exodus, Jeremiah, Isaiah, and Jesus to demonstrate what kind of message this can be.
This book is insightful and well-written, and I think it may have the affect of reinforces interest in reading the Old Testament. I would highly recommend this book.

The following is a summery of the major points made in the text. It should be mentioned that I pulled these references from the 1978 version.

In The Prophetic Imagination, Walter Brueggemann's review of the Old Testament narrative leads him to recognize general characteristics of the imperial consciousness, and in the prophet's task to "evoke a consciousness and perception alternative to the consciousness and perception of the dominant culture around us."(13) The world of empire, according to Brueggemann, is sustained by three interconnected elements: The Economy of Affluence, Politics of Oppression, and the Religion of Imminence (that is, domestication of God). Hence, the empire ignores God's freedom (that God cannot be domesticated) and his justice (his advocacy of the oppressed). The royal consciousness, then, leads people to apathy about suffering and death, and despair about power to new life. The task of the prophet is to subvert this royal consciousness.
First, consider apathy. The royal consciousness is upheld by an overall acceptance of immediate satiation. Therefore Brueggemann argues that the "royal consciousness leads people to numbness, especially to numbness about death. It is the task of the prophetic ministry and the imagination to bring people to engage their experiences of suffering to death."(46) The culture of immediate satiation is necessary to avoid the existential pain and struggle. The royal consciousness is concerned with an eternal now - it therefore denies the many dimensions of existence, exchanging concerns about experience with concerns about behavior (conformity over confrontation). "In the Christian tradition," writes Brueggemann, "having been co-opted by the king, we are tempted to legitamate the denial by offering cross-less good news and a future well-being without a present anguish. Such a religion serves the king well, for he imagines he is still king. He imagines that he can manage and that his little sand castle will endure (if you pardon the phrase) forever." That is, the life upheld by the empire is an illusion, advocating lies about self and neighbor. The task of the porphetic imagination, then, is "to cut through the numbness, to penetrate self deception, so that the God of endings is confessed as Lord."(49) The propeht addresses the pain and suffering the royal consciousness ignores. Criticism of the royal conscioussness is found in crying - the cry of those who are "paying attention" and understand that the empire will end.
Brueggemann sites Jeremiah as a 'criticising prophet.' While there is a time to mourn and a time to dance - Judah does not know what time it is:

Even the stork in the heavens knows her times;
and the turtledove, swallow, and craine
keep of their coming;
but my people know not the ordinance of the Lord. (Jer. 8.7; cf. 4.22)

Jerimiah continues to evoke metaphores depicting Judah's ignorance of her own ruin. This is an example that recognizes that "The riddle and insight of biblical faith is the awareness that only angusih leads to life, only grieving leads to joy, and only embraced endings permit new beginnings."(60)
Second, consider despair. "The royal conscoiussness leads people to depair about the power to new life. It is the task of the prophetic imagination and ministry to bring people to engage the promise of newness that is at work in our history with God." The dual task of the prophet is, on the one hand, to bring us to face our suffering unto death and, on the other hand, to bring us to the rejoicing of hope. "Numb people do not discern or fear death. Conversely, despairing people do not anticipate or receive newness."(62-63) This is how the happiness of satiation is replaced with the joy of hope. The gospel is presented to the prosperous by helping them face their own mortality and pain, and only in that context the prosperous can know the real good news is not in denial or despair, but in hope of new life amoung the dead.
Brueggemann sees Second Isaiah as the prophet bringing hope to a people in despair: "Whereas Jeremiah tried to penetrate the numbness, Second Isaiah had to deal with despair. Both had to speak out of Moses' liberating tradition against the royal mentality that would not let people grieve or hope."(72) Isaiah does this with doxology. While "Lament is the loss of true kingship," doxology is the "faithful embrace of the true king and the rejection of all the phony ones."(73) Doxology involves a return to remembering God's faithfulness. God is remembered not as one who is carried around, or is only present under certain socio-poliitical conditions. God's power and freedom brings him to those in exile:

Hearken to me, O house of Jacob,
all the remnant of the house of Israel,
who have been borne by me from your birth,
carried from the womb;...
I have made, and I will bear;
I will carry and will save... (Is. 46.3-4; cf. 43.22-24)

The Empire wants to transcend history and does not want to hear of new times, yet the exilers rejoice that God is "doing a new thing." God is free to do this. This God of newness is a source of energy and inspiration, representing hope that is not generated but given.
Makes the Old Testament Come Alive  Mar 27, 2008
Too many people see the Old Testament as nothing more than a boring succession of weird stories about people who lived a long time ago and far away. The great thing about Brueggemann's book is that he shows the power and depth of the book along with its applicability to the 21st century. Others do this as well, but all too often they take passages and stories out of the Old Testament context to make their points. Brueggemann's book keeps the context in tact AND shows how it is relevant to today. I especially liked chapter two, "Royal Consciousness: Countering the Counterculture," it made me see the stories of Samuel and Kings in an entirely different light.
Author Books Unusual Use of Words  Mar 16, 2007
This book is about putting "prophetic imagination" inspirations into social actions. Actual example was putting an organisation together in a community to help the needy and underprivileaged. Not very spiritual, but very commendable.
Discover Your Own Prophetic Imagination  Jan 3, 2007
Brueggemann has become one of my favorites. His straight forward dealing with the challenges of ministry is right on target and at the same time inspiring. His reality check approach is refreshing. His treatment of the inspirational is a solid reminder to all about why we're even involved in conversations of spirit and religion. If you have questions / concerns about the practice of theology, this book will make a difference for you. Read it and you won't be diappointed.

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