Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark . . . —John 20:1a
Nobody knew how long Saturday would last. Nobody knew if Saturday would ever end. So it is now as well. Nobody knows how long Saturday will last or if it will ever end. Saturday is that in-between day of stillness and doubt and despair when time stands still in lethal flatness. The old Saturday was about abandonment and disappointment at the far edge of the crucifixion. And then came all the Saturdays of fear and abusiveness, of the Crusades and the ovens and genocides in too many places. And then came our particular Saturdays of Katrina and 9/11 and economic collapse, Saturdays of overwhelming failure with no adequate resources. Continue reading “Walter Brueggemann – Holy Saturday: Expecting to be Interrupted”
“So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you.” —John 13:14–15
The disciples watched with indignation and astonishment, this Lord become a servant. As they watched, their anxiety ebbed some. And he said to them: “Do you know what I have done to you?”
The disciples are always concrete operational. They said, “Yes, you washed our feet.”
More than that, he said. “So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you.” Continue reading “Walter Brueggemann – Maundy Thursday: Belonging and Washing”
A really prophetic message.
The Return of the Prodigal Son by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (1617-1682)
“Religion in American (etc.) Public Life” is our rubric and we sight references to it at least weekly. So what business do we have lifting up, from a single magazine, two reviews of books about ancient Hebrew prophets and New Testament parables? What ever happened to ‘focus’ and ‘relevance’!?
Our first book review this week is by a favored contemporary Christian professor of Hebrew Scriptures, Walter Brueggemann, of a work of translation by a Jewish professor with the same calling, Everett Fox.
The other is by a Christian pastor, James C. Howell, reviewing a book of interpretation by a Jewish scholar (“and clever raconteur,” says Howell), Amy-Jill Levine, who writes about Jesus.
Continue reading “Martin E Martin – Lost in Translation”
Walter Brueggemann is an American Protestant Old Testament scholar and theologian. Brueggemann is widely considered one of the most influential Old Testament scholars of the last several decades.
The interview below, by Micky Jones, is part of the Theology of Ferguson project. Enjoy!
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MJ: Theologian Dr. Emilie Townes talks about “communal lament” as part of addressing injustice and eventual healing. What, as you see it, is the Old Testament precedent for lament and protest?
WB: Well, the laments in the books of Psalms and Lamentations are all an expression of grief but they are also an expression of hope. They are an insistence that things cannot remain this way and they must be changed. Such prayers are partly an address to God but they are also a communal resolve to hang in and take transformative action. Unless that kind of grief and rage and anger is put to speech, it can never become energy. So I believe the transformative function of such prayers is that it transforms energy and rage into positive energy.
MJ: How do we react to anger being viewed as negative, or wanting to avoid it? We want people to “calm down” or “get over it”.
WB: We live in a bourgeois cocoon of niceness and anything that breaks out of that is very threatening and disruptive to people. We have to work towards having honest speech with each other. When we have honest speech we have to speak out about the things that are unjust and unfair. We need a more honest and abrasive speech to bring our talk into connection with our social reality. Any intent to curb that kind of speech is a desire to not have reality pointed out to us. But if we don’t have reality pointed out to us nothing will ever change. Continue reading “Models and Authorizations: An Interview with Walter Brueggemann”
On 15-17 February 2012 we had a meeting on advocacy in the Washington DC office of World Vision US. For the first two day we have had the privilege of having with us Walter Brueggemann, as an inspiration and a sounding board. A marvelous occasion.
Watch below what he shared with us on Psalm 10 during a devotional time the second day of this meeting.
In aceasta saptamina am avut sansa extraordinara de a petrece doua zile cu Walter Brueggemann. Inainte de a publica pe blog cite ceva despre aceasta intilnire, afisez din acest publicat initial acum trei ani.
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Contextul totalizant al producţiei şi consumului
Propun să înţelegem cultura de astăzi din Statele Unite ca pe un ,,totalism al productivităţii.” Prin totalism înţeleg un sistem ideologic atotcuprinzător care exclude abaterile de la regulile sale şi care îi anulează pe toţi cei care nu se supun acestei ideologii dominante. Prin productivitate înţeleg faptul că sistemul ideologic dominant din Statele Unite îi consideră valoroşi doar pe cei care participă la realizările consumiste legate de producerea şi de consumul de bunuri materiale, sistem care este guvernat de triada: bani, putere şi a sex. „Liturghiile” care susţin această ideologie sunt cele ale sportului şi ale întregii industrii de divertisment, care este specializată în chestiuni legate de putere, succes, bogăţie şi confort, livrate în proporţii nelimitate. Mijlocul de promovare al acestei liturghii este, desigur, televiziunea şi, din ce în ce mai mult, internetul care mediază o lume a vitezei, a puterii şi a dezvoltării, complet ruptă de realitatea trăită de persoane reale care-şi duc existenţa în comunităţi reale.
Continue reading “Walter Brueggemann despre societatea de consum”