Academic journal article Anglican Theological Review

Joy, Despair, and Hope: Reading Psalms

Academic journal article Anglican Theological Review

Joy, Despair, and Hope: Reading Psalms

Article excerpt

Joy, Despair, and Hope: Reading Psalms. By Edward Feld. Eugene, Ore.: Cascade Books, 2013. xiii + 153 pp. $19.00 (paper).

Edward Feld is a seasoned Jewish rabbi and educator with a strong commitment to biblical and contemporary issues of faith and action. He has written a wonderful book on the Psalms that powerfully and perceptively addresses everything from the nature of God to the meaning of life. In a brief introduction Feld makes clear his purpose: "My wish is that you, the reader, will come to see in the book of Psalms a place where the soul manifests itself, where nourishment for your own spiritual life can be found" (p. 8). He does this through the study of fourteen psalms categorized by the themes of joy ( 1, 19, 8, 91, 82, 23), despair (27, 42, 77, 73, 39, 90), and hope (92,150). These themes represent a fairly common way of describing literary and theological movements in the Psalms (see, for example, the work of Walter Brueggemann), testifying to an intense spiritual journey of the believer.

Powerfully written expositions of these psalms are the heart of this book. Each individual psalm is connected to the larger spiritual journey witnessed to by the book of Psalms. Beginning with careful and provocative translations, Feld explores the poetic structures of each psalm, inviting the reader into conversation with him, with the psalm s poet, with life, with God. The psalmists studied affirm the goodness of the created order while also addressing difficult questions about justice and the meaning of human existence. Explorations of rhetoric and literary structure are paired with larger discussions of, for example, theodicy and praise. In every psalm study Feld invites us to think on its applicability to our own lives. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.