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Conference on Spirituality... Jan 20, 2003
Recently I asked Prof Brueggemann for one of his lesser known writings on Justice or Injustice. This request came for a friend who as a non-violent protester at Ft. Benning GA was convicted to serve a six months sentence at a Kentucky Federal Prison. Without hesitation our good professor came up with the single chapter in this little gem of 65 pages! He simply repeated the names of the writers - Sharon Parks and Thomas Groome and their conference on Spirituality in Portland Maine in 1983. His valued contributions are the Preface written in May of 1984 and the first Chapter with the title of "Voices of the Night - Against Justice."
Since Brueggemann is the Theologian of three writers he sets the stage with the technical issues and background of Micah's tradition among the Old Testament prophets of Justice, Mercy and Compassion. As only our favorite OT Prof can accomplish he makes the case for Micah's program of poetry as a guide for our ways in education. As in his teaching he outlines the texts with headings of Economically, Epistemologically and Linguistically. Along the way he briefly focuses on Torah of Yahweh and the Exodus Memory: "Micah offers a vision of the nations submitting to the torah of Yahweh." He relates theology behind textual interpretation with doing justice, loving kindness, and walking humbly with God. As one of my Chaplain friends notes, "most every exposition of Brueggemann comes out like poetry!" He is first and foremost a Poet.
I will send my friend this powerful, mediating, spiritual force for supporting those who stand-up for the rights of those who are dis-enfranchised. Another parallel book title that comes to mind is "Jesus and the Disinherited" by Howard Thurman! It was said to have been constantly carried around by Martin Luther King, Jr. Retired Chaplain Fred W Hood