The Prophetic Imagination: 40th Anniversary Edition
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About the Author
Walter Brueggemann is William Marcellus McPheeters Professor Emeritus of Old Testament at Columbia Theological Seminary. An ordained minister in the United Church of Christ, he is regarded as the premier Old Testament interpreter and biblical theologian of today. Among his many publications are Prophetic Imagination and Old Testament Theology.
Davis Hankins is an assistant professor of religious studies in the Department of Philosophy and Religion at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC.
"Years ago, as I struggled to envision a ministry that would engage both the prophetic and the pastoral, Walter Brueggemann's The Prophetic Imagination gave the world a fresh vision of the role of imagination in the inevitable confrontation between what Howard Thurman terms 'the religion of Jesus' and what Brueggemann calls 'the royal consciousness.' In the years since that revelation, yesterday's dilemmas birthed today's crises, which now loom as tomorrow's catastrophes. Even amid these shadows, Brueggemann still emboldens us to endure and even to overcome these troubles, not merely by the tenacity of blues lamentation and the transcendence of gospel communion, but also by prophetic improvisations that jazz the song of Joshua and crumble the walls thrown up by the politics of domination." --William J. Barber II, author of The Third Reconstruction
"Few authors have influenced my spiritual formation more than Walter Brueggemann, and few books more than The Prophetic Imagination. Brueggemann is one of the greatest theologians we have alive today. If you have not read this book, please do. If you have read it before, read it again. The Prophetic Imagination is precisely what the church needs right now." --Shane Claiborne, activist and author of Executing Grace and The Red Letter Revolution
"When I first read The Prophetic Imagination in college, it changed my life. Now, forty years after its initial publication, Brueggemann's book remains as timely as ever, retaining all of its power, insight, and daring. This anniversary edition--beautifully introduced by Davis Hankins--ensures that this classic work is available to inspire another generation to resist the static triumphalism of Pharaoh (in countless contemporary incarnations), to criticize the dominant totalizing consciousness, and to energize the people of God in the face of profound grief." --Brent A. Strawn, Emory University
"To call Walter Brueggemann's book a classic does not do it justice, because that word can wrongly suggest a work that does not help in addressing particular contemporary issues. The Prophetic Imagination is as urgently relevant as the day it was published forty years ago. Brueggemann's book equips theologians and ethicists for the prophetic tasks required to challenge the "royalist" political structures of our time. He shows us how the biblical prophets broke through widespread denial and despair, overcame pervasive amnesia about who their nation was called to be as a people, and modeled strategies for nurturing life-giving hope and gratitude in the midst of political struggle. In our age of plutocrats, his insights are priceless." --Cathleen Kaveny, Boston College
"Walter Brueggemann's The Prophetic Imagination has drawn many a student, seminarian, preacher, and more than a few laypeople on the strength of the title alone, resonant with much of black preaching where the 'sanctified imagination' is regularly engaged. This text has guided generations of biblical interpreters to take the prophetic encounter and vocation as more than protest or religiopolitical disagreement in and beyond the text. The book remains relevant--eminently readable and teachable." --Wil Gafney, Brite Divinity School
"At a time when tradition seems to have become the property of the status quo, this book is more relevant than ever. As tradition shifts sides, it becomes subversive of the dominant religious, political, and economic developments, and so new energies are set free that push toward liberation. While this has been going on for thousands of years, the increasing challenges of the past forty years since this book was written--threatening to destroy both humanity and the planet--underscore its ongoing importance." --Joerg Rieger, Vanderbilt University
"Essential reading for generations of scholars and pastors, The Prophetic Imagination has been catalytic for those yearning to understand biblical prophecy and strengthen their own prophetic witness. Over against the hopelessness generated by repressive ideology, Brueggemann insists that we can choose as the prophets did: neither denial nor acquiescence, but visionary resistance. Brueggemann presses a brilliant case for prophetic imagination as the only choice that will not leave us co-opted by the relentless manipulations of empire." --Carolyn J. Sharp, Yale Divinity School
"Walter Brueggemann's The Prophetic Imagination is timeless; yet, at the same time, it feels as if he wrote it 'for such a time as this.' The convicting yet hopeful voice of Brueggemann is much like the prophets he of from the Hebrew Bible--indeed, he is the conscience of our time." --Cynthia Shafer-Elliot, William Jessup University
"The Prophetic Imagination opened our eyes and ears to the power and purposiveness of the prophets' vision. Practicing prophetic imagination is no less urgent a vocation today, in the face of the omnipresent calculus of human expendability. That this slender book seems both as inspiring and as unerringly realistic today as forty years ago is testament that Walter Brueggemann has described that vocation with precision; this new edition frames his argument as a word on target for a time that critically needs it." --Neil Elliott, author of Liberating Paul and The Arrogance of Nations