The Practice of Prophetic Imagination: Preaching an Emancipating Word
The necessary context of prophetic preaching, Walter Brueggemann argues, is “a contestation between narratives.” The dominant narrative of our time promotes self-sufficiency at the national level (through militarism) and the personal level (through consumerism). Opposed to it is a countervailing narrative of a world claimed by a God who is gracious, uncompromising – and real. In previous work Brueggemann has pointed us again and again to the indispensability of imagination. Here he writes for those who bear responsibility for regular proclamation in communities of faith, describing the discipline of a prophetic imagination that is unflinchingly realistic and unwaveringly candid.
“Walter Brueggemann’s early work on prophecy and imagination has become foundational for a whole generation of preachers and scholars, including me. Here he returns to perhaps the most characteristic of all his myriad ventures, with unaltered vigor and razor-sharp edge. Prophets are not just provocateurs: they are those who profoundly love their people, deeply know their tradition, and can’t but speak of what they both love and know. Brueggemann both loves and knows. That’s what makes him a prophet. Would that we were more like him. Reading this book is a healthy first step.” –Sam Wells, Duke University