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The Practice of Prophetic Imagination
Preaching An Emancipating Word
by Walter Brueggemann
Publisher:Fortress Press from Alban Books
Over several decades Professor Brueggemann, a prominent American Protestant Old Testament scholar, has explored his notion of ‘prophetic imagination’. Broadly, he evokes a practice of worship and preaching where the preacher is deeply engaged with the social realities of his community and often takes an oppositional stance in relation to the dominant culture and values of his society. But the prophetic imagination does not straightforwardly denounce behaviour that appears to disobey God’s law. Instead it employs creative imagination to produce poetry or drama in which new understandings both of God and of the realities of society can be found. In this challenging and fascinating book Professor Brueggemann revisits this practice and aspiration in two ways. He traces, in illuminating detail, the operation of prophetic imagination in the words of the Old Testament prophets themselves; and he proclaims the need to re-imagine a loving God in a similar way for post 9/11 Americans, who thought they were uniquely powerful and uniquely blessed, but now face diverse threats. This is a very American book, and speaks vividly about America; but its message is also transferable and exciting and convincing.
Reviewer: Su Reid (02/10/12)