Mourner, Mother, Midwife: Reimagining God's Delivering Presence in the Old Testament

Mourner, Mother, Midwife: Reimagining God's Delivering Presence in the Old Testament

by L. Juliana M. Claassens

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Overview

Mourner, Mother, Midwife: Reimagining God's Delivering Presence in the Old Testament by L. Juliana M. Claassens

Traditional understandings of God as deliverer depict God as a mighty liberator-warrior and wrathful avenger. Juliana Claassens explores alternative Old Testament metaphors that portray God as mourner, mother, and midwife—images that resist the violence and bloodshed associated with the dominant warrior imagery.

Claassens discusses how metaphors of God as life giver began to develop in the aftermath of the trauma of Israelite exile. She offers compelling examples of how this feminine imagery still has the power to inspire hope amidst violence in today's world. She demonstrates that God's delivering presence helps people of faith cope with trauma and suffering on many levels—individual, community, national, and global—while bringing forth new life out of death and destruction.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780664238360
Publisher: Westminster John Knox Press
Publication date: 11/28/2012
Pages: 116
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

L. Juliana M. Claassens is Associate Professor of Old Testament at Stellenbosch University in South Africa. She previously taught in the United States at Wesley Theological Seminary and Baptist Theological Seminary. She is the author of The God Who Provides: Biblical Images of Divine Nourishment.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

1 Liberating God-Language? 1

The Liberator-Warrior God-for-Us? 2

Woman Warrior and die Liberator-Warrior God 4

Reimagining God as Deliverer 7

Recognizing Complexity 12

Journeying from Tears to New Life 15

2 God as Mourner 18

Mourning Women 18

Terror All Around 20

And Yet 23

Calling the Keeners 26

Divine Wailing Woman 30

Looking at the World through Tears 35

3 God as Mother 41

Mothers 41

Deutero-Isaiah as Survival Literature 42

Disjunctive Metaphors 43

Facing the Empire 47

Rhetorical Significance of the Female Imagery for the Divine in Deutero-Isaiah 49

A Turn to Love 62

4 God as Midwife 64

Midwives 64

Praying from die Depths of the Deep 65

Rupturing God-Language 68

Memories of Midwives 69

A New Kind of Speech: God as Midwife in Psalm 22 71

Redeeming Memories: God as Midwife in Psalm 71 74

Becoming Midwives 78

5 God's Delivering Presence 80

Conjuring Up a New World 81

Toward a Theology of Presence 83

Education as Transformation 89

Transforming Worship 93

Notes 99

Bibliography 119

Permissions 125

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