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The Psalms and the Life of Faith Paperback – September 1, 1995

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 312 pages
  • Publisher: Fortress Press (September 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0800627334
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800627331
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #752,284 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Walter Brueggemann is William Marcellus McPheeters Professor of Old Testament Emeritus at Columbia Theological Seminary. He is the world's leading interpreter of the Old Testament and is the author of numerous books, including Westminster John Knox Press best sellers such as Genesis and First and Second Samuel in the Interpretation series, An Introduction to the Old Testament: The Canon and Christian Imagination, and Reverberations of Faith: A Theological Handbook of Old Testament Themes.

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16 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Fred W Hood on July 16, 2001
Format: Paperback
Having read and/or perused, Finally Comes The Poet, Israel's Praise, The Prophetic Imagination, I decided to wade thru the waters of W.B.'s "out of the depths" of The Psalms And the Life of Faith! Chapter One is remarkable for 81 footnotes, most from Westermann, Wink, Ricoeur, Gunkel, Heschel, Buber and Barth.
W.B. favors writing, speaking, thinking in pairs: "creation and Israel, sun and moon, prisoners and widows, loss of certitude and loss of power... On the one hand, the faithful power of God destabilizes, puts us at risk... On the other hand, the faithful power of Yahweh makes new and leaves us with abiding astonishment, healing, forgiven, restored..."
Skipping over chapters to Pastoral care in the one he describes, Covenanting as Human Vocation... "distinct from a narrowly based psychology or counseling, means nurturing persons... into a fresh metaphor that holds the possibility of making all things new!" (What a magical wordsmith!)
This description of Pastoral care illustrates W.B. as having researched Paul Tillich's Theology as basis for Pastoral Care. He most likely is familiar with the marvelous stories of Fred Craddock, Abraham Heschel and Martin Buber. All of the above are related qualities for good pastoral care. I am so convinced of W.B.'s genius for writing, teaching, thinking, preaching, relating, that I look forward to the possibility of auditing his fall class in the Prophet Jeremiah.
Hopefully and Imaginatively, Chaplain Fred W. Hood
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Candi Dugas LLC on May 9, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Concerned with the role that the Book of Psalms plays in the lives of worshipping Christians, Walter Brueggemann critically examines this text from several perspectives. Of these perspectives I am struck mostly by two which I will discuss in this paper.

Brueggemann observes that the psalm of lament played a critical role in the spiritual lives of the Israelites. However, contemporary congregations lose the spiritual benefit of these psalms as they employ them neither regularly nor as an expression of their life challenges; hence the psalms become a casual text in their spiritual pursuits. Brueggemann believes that the congregation acquires a "loss of life and faith" when these psalms are not a part of their corporate experience. I find this an interesting notion and wonder which congregations lead him to this belief.

Not that I have worshipped in a statistically significant number of churches, but I have worshipped in enough traditional African-American congregations to render an exception to Brueggemann's belief. In fact, I avoid worshipping in such congregations precisely because of their emphasis on hymns of lament. These hymns do not necessarily come from the psalter, but they are of the same tone and I find them depressing.
Conversely I have also worshipped in churches that thrive as a part of the praise and worship movement. From this movement, traditional devotion and singing of hymns have been replaced or reduced by more joyous songs that focus on praising and worshipping God rather than focusing on needy human conditions and the cries for God to fix them. If these praise and worship focused congregations help to inform Brueggemann's assertion, I agree with him.
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