Jesus in the Power of Poetry

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Jesus in the Power of Poetry

A New Voice for Gospel Truth

Viewing prose as a limited way to convey the dream and spirit of the Gospels, this text instead relies upon the power of poetry to provide immediate access to a fresh, radical interpretation of the teachings of Jesus.

The original work here separates itself from similar anthologies by showing an ability to rethink everyday faith through empowerment and liberation. O’Murchu uses language in its most direct form to accept the challenge of these prophetic teachings in the modern world. Through the unique freedom of poetry such as this, the full depth and vitality of these beliefs can be grasped and held by a new generation.

Reviews and endorsements

“This is a real gem. For too long we have thought that prose and theology could get us there, but O’Murchu has discovered what ancient religion knew to be true: the great mysteries must be left evocative, infilling, and endlessly mysterious—and poetry alone is fit for that task. You will return to this book many times, I am sure!!"
Richard Rohr, O.F.M., author of Everything Belongs

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“In the power of poetry, we encounter another Jesus: the story-teller, the cultural catalyst, the prophetic empowerer, the mystical liberator. Hopefully this endeavor will help to redeem Jesus from the cultural conditioning of Greek metaphysics and king-like imperialism. Hopefully it will also provide glimpses on how the original followers experienced the living Jesus, thus challenging and inspiring us today how to follow Jesus more authentically.”
Dr. Walter Wink, Professor Emeritus of Biblical Interpretation, Auburn Theological Seminary, New York, and author of The Human Being: Jesus and the Enigma of the Son of Man

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“What an exciting exploration! O’Murchu reaches into meaningful territory: where poetry touches the dangerous subversiveness of Jesus and helps us appreciate the radiant humanity of Christ. While rational, linear approaches to spirituality have their place, they fail to resolve the mysteries of suffering and death. With buoyant creativity, the author takes us beyond institutional, patriarchal systems and into the poetic realm that delights, illuminates, and offers shining new possibilities.”
Kathy Coffey, author of Hidden Women of the Gospels, Women of Mercy, and The Art of Faith


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“This creative book represents a bold and imaginative unpacking of the core theme of Jesus’ preaching: the in breaking (or revealing) of the Kingdom of God. Blessed with the gift of Diarmuid’s poetic insights the reader sees beyond many of the culturally encrusted gospel stories. The result is an understanding of the subversive power of Jesus’ message as relevant today as it was then. As a preacher, I found this book very helpful for homilist seeking new insights to help them communicate God’s cosmic purpose regarding a new kind of ‘companionship of empowerment.’”
Michael H. Crosby, O.F.M.Cap., author of The Paradox of Power, Can Religious Life be Prophetic? and Solanus Casey

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“Diarmuid O’Murchu introduces us to Jesus the storyteller, the one who through everyday experience places before us the opportunity for embodied revolution. O’Murchu himself is one of the great storytellers, and this book takes us on a journey fueled by theological creativity and expressed in engaging and challenging language. By being drawn into the language we exposed to new possibilities and expanding visions.”
Lisa Isherwood, Programme Director of Theology and Religious Studies at Winchester University, U.K., and author of Liberating Christ (1999) and The Fat Jesus (2008)

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“The metaphysical language of the Greeks, the dualism of body and soul, the imperial Roman law, a prescientific cosmology, and so many other impositions of our church’s tradition have almost totally erased the dangerous memory of our master, the man of Nazareth. Jesus has been sent back to the heavens, and we lost the one we can follow, a radically human being. Diarmuid O’Murchu, in the companionship of the best of Christian scholars, invites the reader to Catching Up with Jesus. I joined him in his first study in which he searched to restore the radiant humanity of Jesus as the human face of God.’ On the road to this rediscovery, Diarmuid felt that language, even in a storytelling form, falls short for imagining the subversiveness of Jesus. In Jesus in the Power of Poetry, we meet the rebellious Jesus, the mystic at heart, a poet who breaks open a congealed political-religious system to reveal a radical new way of being human by entering into God’s birthing of a new kingdom, a kingdom not of power but of empowerment. The author takes the reader along on a discovery of this ‘companionship of empowerment,’ guided by the rebel of Nazareth. His poetry, like Jesus’ parables, is ‘unashamedly human, earthly and secular,’ challenging the reader to sit at the table of radical inclusiveness. The well-documented introductions of the chapters, evoking different aspects of Jesus’ life and ministry, help the reader to overcome what seems at times to be shocking affirmations about Jesus and his discipleship of equals. The remedy of such a shock treatment is to let Jesus and his companionship be fully, human, and hence divine, something that a poet can allow to happen. ‘The poetic character lives in gusto; poetry should surprise by a fine excess and not by singularity’ (John Keats).”
Lode Wostyn C.I.C.M., Manila, Christologist and author of Doing Christology: The Re-appropriation of a Tradition (1990)

9780824525217
Paperback / 224 pages
Dimensions: 6 x 9 1/4
CROSSROAD, 2009