Dissonant Pieties: John Calvin and the Prayer Psalms of the Psalter

Dissonant Pieties: John Calvin and the Prayer Psalms of the Psalter

by Paul A. Riemann, Walter Brueggemann

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Overview

Dissonant Pieties: John Calvin and the Prayer Psalms of the Psalter by Paul A. Riemann, Walter Brueggemann

Throughout his years as a leader of the Reformation, John Calvin had a special interest in the proprieties of prayer. This interest climaxed in his formulation of four basic rules for proper prayer, rules that he applied in his extensive commentary on the book of Psalms, which dominated his last several years. Calvin was especially interested in the psalms associated with David, particularly the complaint psalms. He sensed an unusual personal affinity with David, who as king faced many situations that seemed to parallel his own less authoritative but very powerful role in Geneva. He was, however, quite critical of the psalm prayers that he found to be in violation of his rules. Riemann analyzes Calvin's criticism and offers a reevaluation of the complaint psalms in themselves. Riemann finds the complaint psalms to have been misunderstood not only by Calvin but by many present-day commentators, who likewise find these psalms to only echo their own piety. Riemann demonstrates the risks of abstracting elements from someone else's piety and appropriating them for ourselves. He asserts that rather the complaint psalms can help us learn how to think about the humanity of God and become proper pray-ers ourselves.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781630870935
Publisher: Wipf & Stock Publishers
Publication date: 11/14/2013
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 4 MB

About the Author

Paul Riemann taught Old Testament at Harvard University and at Drew University. His special interest has been the psalms of complaint and the proper nature of prayer. Riemann and his wife now live alongside Burnham Cove in Maine.

Table of Contents

Foreword Walter Brueggemann ix

Acknowledgments xix

1 Introduction 1

2 Discerning a Savor of Intemperance 4

3 Unfolding the Inmost Feelings of David 22

4 Appropriating Psalter Piety 45

5 Recognizing the Piety of the Prayer Psalms 55

6 In Conclusion 69

Bibliography 73

Index of Calvin's Works 77

Index of Names 79

Scripture Index 81

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