Whether dealing with collective catastrophe or intimate trauma, recovering from emotional and physical hurt is hard. Kathleen O’Connor shows that although Jeremiah’s emotionally wrought language can aggravate readers’ memories of pain, it also documents the ways an ancient community-and the prophet personally-sought to restore their collapsed social world. Both prophet and book provide a traumatized community language to articulate disaster; move self-understanding from delusional security to identity as survivors; constitute individuals as responsible moral agents; portray God as equally afflicted by disaster; and invite a reconstruction of reality.
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A deeply moving and lyrical performance by one of today’s leading biblical scholars. Kathleen M. O’Connor’s thoroughly original interpretation of the book of Jeremiah is a ‘must-read’ for all who have been wounded by violence and loss.
—Louis Stulman, professor of religion, University of Findlay
This beautifully written book is unflinchingly honest about ways in which ancient Judean responses to the Babylonian onslaught shaped the Jeremiah traditions. Drawing on trauma and disaster studies, O’Connor illumines ways in which the book of Jeremiah intervenes as a source of cultural resilience through its performance of memories of violence and healing storytelling, its fracturing and renewing of language, and its portrayal of the prophet as iconic sufferer. Jeremiah: Pain and Promise will be essential for biblical scholars, preachers, and pastoral care providers.
—Carolyn J. Sharp, associate professor of Hebrew Scriptures, Yale Divinity School
Kathleen M. O’Connor is William Marcellus McPheeters Professor of Old Testament at Columbia Theological Seminary. She is the author of Lamentations and the Tears of the World and commentaries on Lamentations and Jeremiah, and coeditor of Troubling Jeremiah.