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|Title: ||Faith at the fractures of life : an examination of lament and praise in response to human suffering with special reference to the theology of Walter Brueggemann and David Ford|
|Authors: ||McCoy, Andrew Michael|
|Supervisors: ||Begbie, Jeremy S.|
Hart, Trevor A.
Ford, David F.
|Issue Date: ||30-Nov-2009|
|Abstract: ||This thesis explores the role of lament and praise in the respective theological
approaches of Walter Brueggemann and David Ford for the purpose of examining how
Christian faith transforms human response to suffering.
The first three chapters trace Brueggemann’s engagement with Israel’s lament psalms,
beginning with his observation that their typical dual form mirrors the collective shape
of Israel’s psalter as well as all biblical faith. Influential interactions with sociology
eventually lead Brueggemann to propose faith not simply as response to God’s
faithfulness, but rather through rhetorical tension maintained between conflicts
perceived in aspects of scripture such as praise and lament. We critique this view of
irresolvable textual tension for leaving Brueggemann with an unresolved understanding
of divine fidelity which obscures biblical expectation that God will respond faithfully to
The fourth and fifth chapters concern David Ford’s consistent engagement with praise
and subsequently, Christian joy. His early collaborative scholarship proposes praise as
the result of faith in who God is through the suffering person and work of Jesus Christ.
Nevertheless, continued ethical concerns lead Ford to identify Christian faith as an
inextricable relationship between joy and responsibility resulting from “facing” Christ’s
life and suffering death. We critique Ford for failing to clarify how such “facing” is
made possible through who God is in Christ, rendering faith merely the result of human
expression of Christ’s example, and thus obscuring any real reason for praise amidst
Beyond a synthesis of Brueggemann and Ford’s respective approaches to lament and
praise, the final chapter argues that a trinitarian approach to Christ’s atonement is
necessary to propose how God confronts both suffering and sin thereby producing
faithful human response amidst persistent evil. We conclude by arguing that a trinitarian
understanding of praise cannot be proposed apart from either who God is in Christ’s
atonement or how the atoning Christ is humanly faithful in lament.|
|Publisher: ||University of St Andrews|
|Appears in Collections:||Divinity Theses|
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