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Out of Babylon de Walter Brueggemann
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Out of Babylon (edició 2010)

de Walter Brueggemann (Autor)

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772269,048 (3.5)No n'hi ha cap
It was the center of learning, commerce, wealth, and religion. Devoted to materialism, extravagance, luxury, and the pursuit of sensual pleasure, it was a privileged society. But, there was also injustice, poverty, and oppression. It was the great and ancient Babylon--the center of the universe. And now we find Babylon redux today in Western society. Consumer capitalism, a never-ending cycle of working and buying, a sea of choices produced with little regard to life or resources, societal violence, marginalized and excluded people, a world headed toward climactic calamity. Where are the prophets--the Jeremiahs--to lead the way out of the gated communities of overindulgence, the high rises of environmental disaster, and the darkness at the core of an apostate consumer society? Walter Brueggemann--a scholar, a preacher, a prophetic voice in our own time--challenges us again to examine our culture, turn from the idols of abundance and abuse, and turn to lives of meaning and substance.… (més)
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Es mostren totes 2
This is terrain that Walter Bruggemann has traversed before. Using the metaphor of exile he explores the Biblical prophets and their context and probes them for insight of how we can live lives faithful to the gospel in relationship to empire. While the entire book is good and worthwhile the final chapter, "Doin' time in Persia" is particularly apt for our context. Brueggemann talks about the shift in the prophets from looking forward to restoration and homecoming from exile, to reflections on how to live faithful lives in the midst of empire, and trying to bring change. The themes are no longer, "restoration and homecoming" but "accommodation and resistance." Some really insightful stuff here.

Also enjoyable was that Bruggemann pairs his biblical reflections with a Emmy Lou Harris song, "Doin' Time in Babylon." Nice to see him bring his literary analysis to a contemporary song in exploring these lyrics and relating it to the experience of Israel and the prophets. ( )
  Jamichuk | May 22, 2017 |
Brueggemann's meditation on Emmylou Harris' song "Time in Babylon," has all the marks of Brueggemann...careful engagement with Scripture, a keen but critical eye for contemporary cultural connections, and above all, a matchless sense of the well-turned phrase.

For someone who has been an avid follower of Brueggemann over the years, this book is not so much an "exciting presentation of new material" as it is an "new presentation of exciting material." Brueggemann, more than anything, helps demonstrate the timeless ability of Scripture (especially here, the imagery of "Babylon") to keep speaking truth to power.

For the majority of the book, Brueggemann deals with texts that address "empire" in Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Isaiah 40-55. Then, in the very final chapter, he turns his attention to Ezra-Nehemiah, Daniel, Esther, and the Joseph story. He uses these separate sets of texts to posit a shift in the Israelite attitude toward empire (mirroring the shift from Babylonian to Persian hegemony) from "exile and restoration" to "accommodation and resistance."

Unfortunately, it was clearly apparent the set of texts with which Brueggemann was either a) more familiar or b) more agreeable. Though, I don't necessarily disagree with the thesis that Ezra-Nehemiah/Daniel/Esther/Joseph story present a different model of engagement with "empire," it certainly does get short shrift. I was shocked to see the Joseph story given less than 3 full pages and effectively dismissed with the comment, "The outcome of the narrative is that Joseph represents a model of accommodation and defiance that for the most part is very thin on defiance" (p. 147). I was disappointed that Brueggemann chose not to wrestle more with this text.

For all that, Brueggemann's analysis of prophetic texts is always, always, always clear-eyed and challenging. (Brueggemann is at his best in scriptural exposition.) And he makes a compelling case for American Christians to reconsider our own engagement with and loyalty to this ravenous beast of American empire.

Brueggemann doesn't just write about prophetic texts; he WRITES prophetic texts. Texts that engage socio-political with divine realities. Texts that advocate righteousness rather than expediency. Texts that value truth-telling over easy answers.

One final note: Brueggemann dedicates this book to two of his former students, John Bracke (my professor and master's thesis advisor) and David Knauert. As he explains, John was his first OT student and David, who unfortunately died in car accident, was his last; both serve as "bookends" (Brueggemann's term) to his teaching career. So perhaps the BEST way to read this text is not just as a meditation on a popular song but as Brueggemann's meditation on what it means to be a teacher of Bible, both within the Church and the Academy. This book certainly will inspire many readers to re-engage the Old Testament, believers, and our over-privileged culture with a renewed vigor and passion for righteousness, which I think would please Professor Brueggemann ever so much! ( )
  Jared_Runck | Oct 24, 2015 |
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Wikipedia en anglès (1)

It was the center of learning, commerce, wealth, and religion. Devoted to materialism, extravagance, luxury, and the pursuit of sensual pleasure, it was a privileged society. But, there was also injustice, poverty, and oppression. It was the great and ancient Babylon--the center of the universe. And now we find Babylon redux today in Western society. Consumer capitalism, a never-ending cycle of working and buying, a sea of choices produced with little regard to life or resources, societal violence, marginalized and excluded people, a world headed toward climactic calamity. Where are the prophets--the Jeremiahs--to lead the way out of the gated communities of overindulgence, the high rises of environmental disaster, and the darkness at the core of an apostate consumer society? Walter Brueggemann--a scholar, a preacher, a prophetic voice in our own time--challenges us again to examine our culture, turn from the idols of abundance and abuse, and turn to lives of meaning and substance.

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