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Hopeful Imagination [Paperback]

By Walter Brueggemann (Author)
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Item description for Hopeful Imagination by Walter Brueggemann...

Brueggemann, whose strong suit is making the Old Testament relevant to today's world, probes three major prophetic traditions: Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Second Isaiah to demonstrate how these exhortations and encouragements are similar to what caregivers should counsel in modern situations of exile.

Publishers Description
Professor Brueggemann here examines the literature and experience of an era in which Israel's prophets faced the pastoral responsibility of helping people to enter into exile, to be in exile, and to depart out of exile. He addresses three major prophetic traditions: Jeremiah (the pathos of God), Ezekiel (the holiness of God), and 2 Isaiah (the newness of God). This literature is seen to contain the theological resources for handling both brokenness and surprise with freedom, courage, and imagination. Throughout, Brueggemann demonstrates how these resources offer vitality for ministry today.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Augsburg Fortress Publishers
Pages   160
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.6" Width: 5.56" Height: 0.4"
Weight:   0.51 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jan 1, 1986
Publisher   Augsburg Fortress Publishers
ISBN  0800619250  
ISBN13  9780800619251  

Availability  0 units.

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. Literary Currents in Biblical Interpretation
  2. Old Testament Theology
  3. Shalom Resource
  4. Smyth & Helwys Bible Commentary

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Authors, A-Z > ( B ) > Brueggemann, Walter
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Bible & Other Sacred Texts > Bible > Old Testament
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Commentaries > Old Testament
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Criticism & Interpretation > Old Testament

Christian Product Categories
Books > Christian Living > Practical Life > Science, Faith & Evolution

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Reviews - What do customers think about Hopeful Imagination?

Classic Brueggemann  Jan 11, 2007
Nothing stirs your mind and heart like reading Brueggemann. More of the same.
How did this end up on my reading list for an advanced divinity degree?  Oct 10, 2006
I only read this book because it was on such a list - and in London. I found it very disappointing.

Apparently, the author was attempting to use segments from the Hebrew scriptures as a takeoff point for US evangelical preachers, who see their time and place as one hostile to the gospels. I would be the first to see capitalism as possible idolatry, but frankly the book has no scholarly value because the connection of ancient Israelites with America is forced and contrived.

I was specifically referencing the book in relation to Deutero-Isaiah. The treatment of the aftermath of the Babylonian exile was a brief sketch, with far less insight or stimulation than scholarly works I have consulted. It included a few basic considerations, then on to application to modern America. The author well may have a strong background in exegesis, but here the Old Testament is merely a peg to show a perceived hostility in American culture.

I cannot see this book as valuable except, perhaps, to US preachers from non liturgical traditions.
Imagination in Prophecy--a Much Needed Insght  Apr 28, 2006
This paperback, a sequel to his "Prophetic Imagination", does an excellent job of integrating scholarship with contemorary insights into how these prophetic writings relate to current American life. I have used it successfully as a text in my university and theological seminary courses and believe it to be one of the best texts on the prophets of the exile. I will be using it next month in an adult Biblical class in a church. Dr. Brueggemann was a mentor and advisor of mine at Eden Theological Seminary in St.Louis and is one of the most prolific Old Testament writers today. A must for O.T. interpreters!
Hopeful Immagination - learning from past mistakes  Oct 27, 2000
This is the second book I have read by Brueggemann on the role of the Prophetic in the life of the Kingdom of God. He uses the books of Jeremiah, Ezekiel and what he terms `second' Isaiah as his source texts, and with them he puts forward a highly plausable, and yet quite incredible argument for the legitimation of the prophetic role within the church.

His theme in dealing with Jeremiah is principally grief. If we want the new thing that God wants to bring about, we must first grieve over the old state. That old state of sin and rigid structure, where God has become a rubber stamp for the wishes of the "managers of the Status quo." God will not put new wine in old wine skins. To bring in the new he will first dismantle the old and then cause new birth and new life to occur.

This part I believe has some major things to say to the church of New Zealand (and possibly to the whole western church structure) right now. The church is coming to the end of a life cycle where the `modern' style and structures are becoming redundant, along with those who try to support them. All too often the ministers and pastors of New Zealand churches are in their 50's and 60's, and they appear to have little understanding of the new structures required to cater for the up and coming `post modern' mind set. Brueggeman contends that many of these church leaders are like those leaders in Jeremiah's time who thought that they could maintain the present religious structure of their day. But God had the exile in mind.

Brueggemann then looks at Ezekiel who was a priest. His concern is with holiness and purity and doing things God's way. These chapters are tough to read as they start with personal holiness (by implication) and then shine the spot light squarely upon the church. Ezekiel was sent to the people of God, and his criticism of the lack of holiness is aimed at them, and at us the church.

The last part of the book is one about memory, and remembering what God has done in the past andthen using those memories as a spark of hope for the future. We are not to live in the "eternal today", as the purveyors of maintaining the present structures would want. We are to remember our past, and hope for the future that God promises. Only then will change occur, when the church starts dreaming of a different future than the one presently presented.

The change from our ways to God's ways will hurt, cause grief, be about purity and refining, but will result in purpose and hope and a church that can fulfill her calling. Brueggemann contents that the function of the church is that of a holy community that models holiness and compassion, being governed by the will and methods of the Kingdom of God.

The book has been quite life changing for me. It has opened my eyes to so much of the purpose of the prophetic, it's hassles and joys, and has caused me to have hope for our church and our national church community. It has also given me understanding as to why so many churches (including my own) spurn the prophetic ministry. The prophet is one who stands up and challenges the status quo, and those who support it. Ie. the church leaders. Of course there will be conflict, and rejection and trial. But now that I understand it, somehow that makes it easier.

This book is for those who wish to see the church really become the community of faith that God desires, and for those damaged prophets who need some encouragement to carry on doing what God has called them to.


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