The Prophetic Imagination by Brueggemann

A beautiful quote from a new book I’m eager to get my hands on, The Prophetic Imagination by respected Old Testament scholar Walter Brueggemann.

Here is a quote from the book, for artists and creative voices to hear, on creating visions of alternative futures through art:

“The prophet engages in future fantasy. The prophet does not ask if the vision can be implemented… The imagination must come before the implementation. Our culture is competent to implement almost anything and to imagine almost nothing… Every totalitarian regime is frightened of the artist. It is the vocation of the prophet to keep alive the ministry of imagination, to keep conjuring and proposing alternative futures.” [Brueggemann]

Here is the link for the book: The Prophetic Imagination

Special thanks to Jonny for the heads up.

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7 thoughts on “The Prophetic Imagination by Brueggemann

  1. This book was the first book I read upon seriously preparing for theological studies 25 years ago. It is superb.

  2. what a fantastic quote. Society and totalitarian cultures are not the only ones afraid of the artists…so are our churches (which I suppose are at times totalitarian in themselves).

    I like that the role of the prophet is not to implement. I think that’s why people are afraid – they assume that when a prophet speaks of something to come that it must be done right now. And at times that is true, but so often it is the future and the prophet themselves have little if anything to do with the vision coming to fruition.

    It’s like when my husband says he wants to buy new tools. I assumer he means immediately and I get very stressed about budget and bills and all the rest. When actually he is thinking into the future and not planning for immediate purchase (thank God).
    It might seem a silly analogy but it is true of how prophets are perceived. If only we could take what they say and weigh it with discernment of timing instead of assuming it’s impossible or improbable and shun the word and gift.

    Is it not a role of the apostolic to implement vision anyway? How can we learn to process these gifts together?