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Brueggemann’s Bridge Between Form Criticism of The Psalms, Theology and Spirituality
‘Form Criticism’ of the Psalms has been around for less than a hundred years. Prior to 1920’s study use of the Psalms was pretty much limited to a ‘historical-critical’ approach and a ‘Christological’ approach. That is – the establishing of who wrote what and why and the reading of psalms within the context of ‘Christ’, respectively. To fully appreciate how Brueggemann builds these bridges between form criticism, theology and spirituality we will first look at a basic understanding of the foundations of form criticism onto which Brueggemann offered his new schema. Secondly we shall look at Brueggemann’s schema and how he builds and develops these bridges into theology and spirituality. Finally we shall be reflecting on ‘Christian spirituality’ That is; we shall be reflecting on how this schema helps us in our engagement with secular spirituality with particular reference to the area of ‘urban hip-hop’ and ‘new punk’. I am basing my understanding and framework of spirituality on the work of Bob Mayo in his work ‘Making Sense of Generation Y’ (2006). In it he proposes that spirituality can be understood in two ways – Formative spirituality; that is a level of spiritual understanding and awareness that everyone is born with and everyone has. And secondly transformative spirituality; that is a level of spiritual understanding and awareness that builds on formative spirituality into having a personal and communal outworking.
And so in answering ‘How does Brueggemann build bridges between form criticism of the Psalms, theology and spirituality?’ I shall be addressing spirituality in a Christian transformative understanding and from a secular formative spirituality understanding.