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Prayers for a Privileged People by Walter…

Prayers for a Privileged People

by Walter Brueggemann

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Linguists have long noted that, within the verbal stylings of biblical Hebrew, the prophetic literature has occupied a uniquely "middle ground" between prose and poetry (just compare a few Bible translations of Jeremiah, for example) and you can actually see the ongoing debates and developments. To me, Brueggemann's greatest accomplishment in this book of poetic prayers/prayerful poems is give a sense of what this "prophetic" diction might sound like in English.

This is "classic Brueggemann" in multiple ways: themes, motifs, subjects, and those absolutely mind-blowing turns of phrase that show up every other page or so that, frankly, open up new ways to see the world. It is a collection that well repays a slow read (say, a poem a day) or a total immersion (the entire book could easily be read in an afternoon, at most). One note: There is a definite progression to the poems (Pay attention to the section descriptions!), so they should be read in order rather than skipping about.

I will certainly return to this book in the future; it brings together literary beauty and prophetic power in near-perfect balance and combination. Furthermore, it demonstrates not only Brueggemann's range as a writer but the clarity and consistency of his central convictions and concerns. Truly, it is a wonderful work. ( )
  Jared_Runck | Dec 26, 2015 |
Brueggemann's prayers are a wonderful blending of the contemporary issues we all face with biblical language and imagery. These prayers are appropriate both for individual and corporate prayer. He writes the prayers with line breaks, like poetry, but the rhythms are more that of well-written prose. I definitely consider it a prayer book worth owning. ( )
  wrmjr66 | Apr 17, 2009 |
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