Donald Sheehan’s introductory exposition of the Davidic roots of Psalms and the poetics of chiasmus guides us in understanding how the Psalms slowly reveal God. It is not the psalmist’s world that changes as he turns toward God, it is the psalmist himself that is changed. Sheehan states that “the Psalms disclose the mind of David in the process of becoming the mind of Christ,” to which each of us is called. Sheehan’s rendering allows us to experience the Psalms as expressions of both joy and longing for God.
In this rendering, the Psalms become once again what they were for Christian believers from the very beginning: the hymnal of the Church.
—From the Preface by Archpriest John Breck, professor emeritus, Saint Sergius, Theological Institute, Paris
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Donald Sheehan (1940–2010) earned his PhD in English from the University of Wisconsin in 1969. He was a professor for 35 years, beginning at the University of Chicago, then moving to Franconia College, Plymouth State College, and finishing with a 15-year tenure at Dartmouth. He was executive director of The Frost Place in New Hampshire—an educational center for poetry—from 1978 to 2005. He was received in to the Orthodox Church in 1984, and ordained a subdeacon in 1987.