Reviews - What do customers think about Lamentations and the Tears of the World?
lovely, lovely book for our time Nov 14, 2005
Dr. O'Connor's book on Lamentations is a true delight for those who want to read a reasoned, thoughtful, scholarly, yet assessible interpretation of one of the most difficult, yet beautiful books of the Hebrew bible. It is biblical scholarship at its finest for those of us who want to turn to the bible not to use it to hurt and polarize but to use it to find understanding and, yes, comfort in the pain of our personal and community lives. Lamentations gives us more questions than answers and it maddenly "doesn't make everything better" in the final verses of the fifth chapter. Instead it gives us, as Dr. O'Connor points out, a beautiful, very intelligent design on the suffering and hopelessness of the human condition. Even though the narrator, Woman of Zion, the strongman, and the people cried out on the destruction of their city in the 8th century BCE we can empathize and learn from their pain. Dr. O'Connor has given us a gift to reexamine this text and food for thought as we look at the pain and suffering in our contemporary world where God seems silent and work as a community to provide comfort.
Lamentations and Personal Tears of Grief! Jan 18, 2003
I changed Dr. O'Connor's title to include what I strongly felt and believed as I peruse the first few chapters and her closing "Theological Betweeness" Summary. The Foreward by Prof Bruegge gives his seal of approval and names her as "my distingished and treasured colleague." He describes her growth in her own daring presentation in which "she carries readers to new depths of human anguish and human hope..." I agree totally with his way of including "her rich and shamelessly theological exposition."
Just as Prof O'Connor states in her Preface on the personal note of beginning the work while her husband was receiving infusions in the oncology room of Columbia Presbyterial Medical Center in NYC, one is quickly plunged into her personal search for Hope! Early reading her inspiring exposition...I was taken-up with her explicit combining of the depths of literary and psychological and theological themes discovered in Lamentations!
When she described Lamentations as a short book of five poems, "that expresses with searing clarity their fear, grief, and despair," I quickly remembered three families of professional friends who were all facing those same personal sufferings. She clearly articulates those issues which most of us faced in CPE! Her calling the book "an artistic jewel, a theological enigma, and a courageous act of survival"...leads to the rich metaphoric poetry which is able to embrace the sorrows of the world!
Her summary begins: "Lamentations is a theological watershed, an in-between place where the old theology of a punishing God no longer holds..." Yet God's voice is largely missing from these poems and is not heard. I am eagerly looking forward to hearing Professor O'Connor as she teaches Cross Cultural Readings in the Old Testament at Columbia Seminary! Retired Chaplain Fred W Hood