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The Psalms and the Life of Faith

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Known as one of America’s best theologians and one of the world’s foremost scholars on the Old Testament, Walter Brueggemann has inspired young scholars and students and driven the discourse on theology with some of the biggest players in contemporary Bible scholarship.

Walter Brueggemann’s unique gift of joining historical-exegetical insights to penetrating observations about the traumas and joys of contemporary life—both personal and social—is here forcefully displayed. Everyone who is familiar with his work knows the power of his speech about “doxological, polemical, political, subversive, evangelical faith” and about the ways such faith is enacted in the praise of ancient Israel and in the church.

Readers of this book will find fresh insight into the categories of the Psalms, the social context in which psalms were prayed and sung, the theology of the Psalms, the dialogical character of the Psalms, and so much more.

With the Logos Bible Software edition, you can journey through this volume with today’s most advanced tools for reading and studying God’s Word. All Scripture passages are linked to your library’s original language texts and English translations. Enhance your study with Logos’ advanced features—search by topic to find out what Brueggemann teaches on the Exodus, or find every mention of “Psalm 91” throughout his works.

Key Features

  • Provides essential Old Testament scholarship from one of the most prominent living scholars
  • Examines the way Psalms are prayed and sung in the modern church
  • Includes material perfect for pastors, professors, counselors, and Old Testament scholars


  • Part One: The Psalms as Prayer and Praise
    • Psalms and the Life of Faith: A Suggested Typology of Function
    • The Psalms as Prayer
    • From Hurt to Joy, from Death to Life
    • The Costly Loss of Lament
    • Praise and the Psalms: A Politics of Glad Abandonment
  • Part Two: Covenant and Canon as Context
    • Prayer as and Act of Daring Dance: Four Biblical Examples
    • Covenanting as Human Vocation: The Relation of the Bible and Pastoral Care
    • “Impossibility” and Epistemology in the Faith Tradition of Abraham and Sarah (Genesis 18:1–15)
    • Bounded by Obedience and Praise: The Psalms as Canon
  • Part Three: Interpreted Psalms
    • Psalms 9–10: A Counter to Conventional Social Reality
    • Psalm 37: Conflict of Interpretation
    • Psalm 77: The Turn from Self to God
    • Psalm 109: Steadfast Love as Social Solidarity

Praise for the Print Edition

The Psalms, for Walter Brueggemann, are not simply ancient texts or routinized elements of a liturgy. As they come to speech, as they are read, they make claims about reality, indeed shape reality in ways more potent and shocking than we usually realize. Brueggemann’s great contribution is to uncover the power of these psalms and to awaken us to what is said and done in singing and praying them.

—from the Introduction

Product Details

  • Title: The Psalms and the Life of Faith
  • Author: Walter Brueggemann
  • Editor: Patrick D. Miller
  • Publisher: Augsburg Fortress
  • Publication Date: 1995
  • Pages: 240

About the Author

Walter Brueggemann through his teaching, lecturing, and writing, has effectively demonstrated the significance of the Old Testament for our fractured world today. Recognized as the preeminent interpreter of the ancient texts in relation to questions posed by a variety of academic disciplines, he has shown the way toward a compelling understanding of the major components of the faith and life of ancient Israel, especially its Psalms, the prophets, and the narratives. His award-winning Theology of the Old Testament quickly became a foundational work in the field.

Brueggemann, who holds a ThD from Union Seminary, New York, and a PhD from St. Louis University, is William Marcellus McPheeters Professor of Old Testament at Columbia Theological Seminary, Decatur, Georgia. He was previously professor of Old Testament at Eden Theological Seminary, St. Louis. His many Fortress Press books, including The Threat of Life: Sermons on Pain, Power, and Weakness, exhibit a fecund combination of imaginative power, sound scholarship, and a passion of justice and redemption.

About the Editor

Patrick D. Miller is Charles T. Haley Professor Emeritus of Old Testament Theology at Princeton Theological Seminary in Princeton, New Jersey.

  • Title: The Psalms and the Life of Faith
  • Author: Walter Brueggemann
  • Publisher: Fortress Press
  • Print Publication Date: 1995
  • Logos Release Date: 2013
  • Era: era:Contemporary
  • Language: English
  • Resources: 1
  • Format: Digital › Logos Research Edition
  • Subject: Bible. O.T. Psalms › Criticism, interpretation, etc
  • Resource Type: Monograph
  • Metadata Last Updated: 2020-09-03T18:58:11Z

Walter Brueggemann is William Marcellus McPheeters Professor of Old Testament Emeritus at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Georgia. He is past president of the Society of Biblical Literature and the author of numerous books, including David’s Truth: In Israel’s Imagination and MemoryInterpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching Genesis, and The Message of the Psalms: A Theological Commentary.


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  1. Kevin Vawser

    Kevin Vawser


Enjoy May's Monthly Sale


Print list price: $26.00
Regular price: $20.99
Save $6.30 (30%)