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Deep Calls to Deep: The Psalms in Dialogue Amid Disruption

Deep Calls to Deep: The Psalms in Dialogue Amid Disruption

by William P Brown

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Overview

The Psalms can help us during a time of disruption and division. Deep Calls to Deep demonstrates a new and generative way of reading the Bible, which looks for differences among texts to engage in dialogue over critical issues that are not only biblical but also are relevant to our contemporary crises. Bill Brown explores uncharted territory in the Bible with a particular focus on the Psalms, the most diverse book of the Bible. By taking his cue from Martin Luther, Brown explores how the “little bible” (the Psalter) engages the larger Hebrew Bible in dialogue, specifically how the Psalms counter, complement, reconstrue, and transform biblical traditions and themes across the Hebrew canon, from creation and law to justice and wisdom. In this deep study of the Psalms, Brown asks: - What is humanity’s place and role in creation? - What makes for a credible leader? - What is “law and order”? - What is the role of wisdom in the life of faith? - What is the shape of justice in a society polarized by power and fear? These and other questions, such as a chapter that offers a fresh look at the authority of Scripture, are hosted by the Psalms with the aim of prompting dialogue, the kind of dialogue that is most needed in a time of deep division and disruption. Praise for Deep Calls to Deep On one side a country—no, a world—in profound disruption. On the other side, the book of Psalms: a microcosm of the biblical world, what Luther called a little Bible. Who but Bill Brown could put these two worlds together in such a probing and profound way, with such insight, and in such elegant prose? His Seeing the Psalms has long been among my favorite books on the Psalter. Now Deep Calls to Deep joins it at the head of the list. Here is a truly “deep reading,” what Brown calls “reading for reciprocity,” that exemplifies the best in biblical-theological-ethical-interpretation written by one of the very best of our time. It is a must-read for any who care at all about how Scripture might speak to the disruptions that threaten to divide us forever. That means, of course, that it is must-reading for everyone. --Brent A. Strawn, Professor of Old Testament and Professor of Law, Duke University In Deep Calls to Deep Bill Brown adroitly highlights the intricate interplay between the Psalms and the rest of the Bible. Brown then weaves from this dialogue an image of how we might conceive the authority of the Bible as a sacred dialogue among its readers. This book is must reading for anyone who seeks to hear and understand the variety of voices in Scripture and to discern the profound meaning of the Psalter as a “little Bible.” —Jerome Creech, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary Deep Calls to Deep extends a hearty invitation to mutual dialogue among Christian communities. It does not encourage harmony and agreement but seeks to generate critical and potentially transformative conversations regarding scripture and authority. —Nyasha Junior, Temple University, and author of Reimagining Hagar: Blackness and Bible In this moment of societal disruption, Brown warmly invites us to sit together and consider anew the glorious psalms of our faith. We are beckoned to see how these diverse poems create a conversation with other biblical texts, not for the sake of uniformity but for the sake of courageous dialogue. —Tyler Mayfield, Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary In a world often wracked by arguments and silencing, William Brown provides a valuable witness to those of us who treasure Scripture. Using the central metaphor of “dialogue,” this fascinating study shows how all of the Bible interacts with the Psalms in a dialogical relationship. Brown invites us not only to listen in to that lively conversation, but also to join in with our voices, no matter where we are. A necessary book for our time! —Roy L. Heller, Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University Deep Calls to Deep is a timely book. William Brown’s commitment to dialogical interpretation is just what the Church needs in this unsettling and divisive time. The inner-biblical reading of the Psalms in conversation with the rest of the canon clarifies the dialogical nature of biblical revelation, and, in so doing it, Brown provides a roadmap for our own self-critical engagement with others as a journey of "fearless dialogue." —Tom Dozeman, United Theological Seminary (Dayton, Ohio)


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781501858956
Publisher: Abingdon Press
Publication date: 07/22/2021
Pages: 486
Sales rank: 1,012,974
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.98(d)

About the Author

William P. Brown is William Marcellus McPheeters Professor of Old Testament at Columbia Theological Seminary, Decatur, GA. His teaching focuses on the use of scripture in the life of the church and the world, particularly in the context of ecology and justice. Recent books include The Seven Pillars of Creation: Bible, Science, and the Ecology of Wonder, Wisdom’s Wonder, and Sacred Sense.

Table of Contents

Personal Preface vii

Acknowledgments xi

Foreword Tremper Longman III xv

Abbreviations xix

1 Introduction: From Disruption to Dialogue 1

Part I Torah

2 "In the Beginning": A Primordial Dialogue 39

3 The Ancestors: Israel's Strange Beginnings 77

4 The Exodus: A Parting of Perspectives 95

5 The Wilderness: Test, Trust, and Intransigence 127

6 The Living Tôrâ: For the Love of "Law" 169

Part II Prophets

7 The David Dilemma: A Legacy of Ambivalence 213

8 Establishing Justice: Prophetic and Psalmic 275

Part III Writings

9 Wisdom's Works: Sapiential and Psalmic 331

10 Psalms at the Table: Talking Two by Two 373

Part IV Reflections

11 On Biblical Auctoritas: A Dialogue 421

12 Conclusion: Personal and Pedagogical Reflections 435

Bibliography 448

Psalms Index 461

Name Index 462

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