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Life in the Psalms : Contemporary Meaning in Ancient Texts: the Mowbray Lent Book 2016 (Paperback)
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Circumstances change, but the human condition remains the same. The psalms lie at the heart of Jewish and Christian worship. For thousands of years people in despair and praise have cried to God through the words of these ancient poems. Fragments of them are still widely known and loved. Yet such is the gulf between the ancient culture they come from, and our contemporary world, that much of the depth of their meaning is lost to us.
This book aims to bridge that gulf, enabling the modern reader to find hope in these ancient texts by re-imagining their meanings for our times. The Psalms include texts that can speak to the condition of bi-polar disorder, depression and acute anxiety states; can illuminate issues of climate change and environmental degradation, and our responses to refugees and asylum seekers; reflect on the experience of meditation, the contemplative experience, and 'attention' in a digital age; on the illusions of 'celebrity culture' and consumerism; acute grief and bereavement.
Three introductory chapters are followed by reflections on thirty psalms (one for each weekday of Lent). The commentary following each text aims to dig out something of the treasure that is hidden there, and to help those in search of a more contemplative spirituality to discover, in the midst of the hard realities of a secular twenty-first century western world, a deep consciousness of the healing mystery of God.