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The Prophetic Imagination, 2nd Edition Paperback – June 1, 2001
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No, Bruggeman paints a portrait of the Biblical prophet as one who contends against the normal order of society and culture which has set itself up at the expense of the marginal, the outcast, the poor, and the weak. Bruggman calls this "the royal consciousness" but I think we could also refer to it as "the Powers that Be" and here in the United States goes by such names as "the multinational corporation" and "politics in Washington D. C."
Bruggeman argues that the prophet does not contend against such entities with arms and use of force, but with the much more powerful weapon of imagination and creativity.
To make this point, he uses the examples of Moses against Pharaoh, Jeremiah against the Monarchy, and Jesus against the religion of Israel.
One of the things that so struck me about this book is that ever since I was in high school, every time I took one of those odd (and error-prone) "spiritual gift inventory" tests, I always came up with "Prophet" as my top spiritual gift.
When I was a pastor, and because I didn't believe that prophets (the way I thought of them) were in use today, I interpreted this to mean that I was to proclaim or "forthtell" the Word of God, rather than foretell future events or predict the future.
Bruggeman has given me a window by which to look at the world and current events through the lens of prophetic imagination. Imagining a different world. A different way of doing things. A different order.Read more ›
Brueggemann shows convincingly from the ministries of Moses, Jeremiah, and Jesus, how each man in response to either an oppressive empire (Egypt) or unjust, religious community (pre-exilic Judah and first century Israel) employs "radical criticism" to "dismantle" the dying or dead culture. Solomon's imperial rule is also examined as an example of how a "royal consciousness" may serve to subvert even the community of promise resulting in satiation and the inevitable numbness and death. Second Isaiah (Isa. 40-66) serves as the primary example of the second aspect of the prophetic task; namely, "energizing" the despairing community with hope.
Brueggemann presents his thesis concerning the would-be Christian prophets' need for personal anguish, grief, and mourning as contrasted with the less painful exercise of mere anger and apathy while he ministers as God's instrument. For me it was surprising and gratifying to discover that an Old Testament professor from a mainline Protestant tradition could supply such compelling insights concerning both the tasks and the traumas of God's prophets. Not even my Pentecostal seminary professors helped me in this regard as much as this short read.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a Great Book and I found his perspective extremely healing. I will definitely read more of his material.Published 2 months ago by Kathleen Ward
Walter Bruggemann's books never fail to challenge and inform. The Prophetic imagination is one of Bruggemann's classics. I really enjoyed it.Published 3 months ago by terrryp
This is a key book to help the developing theologian in formation of their ministry to assure that it is grounded in the overall thematic thrust of justice and righteousness for... Read morePublished 5 months ago by D. L. Dalton
An excellent assessment of the role of the prophet firstly to imagine a different world: God's world, and realize that in preaching or presenting an alternative world view. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Peter Murphy
Read this before you read his newest book. I highlighted so many times I think I swamped my Kindle. A real change in vision.Published 5 months ago by Winterpast Rev
Great book with a wonderful framework for understanding the role of the prophet. However, the writing was not quite as sharp and linear as some of Brueggemann's other work that... Read morePublished 6 months ago by coopmac
Great!!!!! Fantastic read!!!!! Very informative and enlightening!!!Published 6 months ago by timmypearl
This is a classic book that can help expand our imaginations of the role of the prophets. Brueggemann is one of the best writing today.Published 7 months ago by Frank Coats