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Sabbath as Resistance
Publication Date:
8/1/2007
Pages:
0
Session(s)
4
Product Type:
Internet Download
Adult Study
Product Number:
TC0176

Sabbath keeping is a distinctively Jewish art form. It is, however, a practice and a discipline that has long preoccupied Christians who have responded to a core requirement of the God of covenant. It is unfortunate that in U.S. society, largely out of a misunderstood Puritan heritage, Sabbath has gotten enmeshed in legalism and moralism and blue laws and life-denying practices that contradict the freedom-bestowing intention of Sabbath. Such distortions, moreover, have led to endlessly wearying quarrels about "Sunday activities" such as movies and card playing and, in some states still, purchasing liquor on Sunday.

All of that common lore in U.S. society, of course, amounts to a pitiful misrepresentation of Sabbath keeping as an art form. When taken seriously in faith by Jews--and derivatively by Christians--Sabbath keeping is a way of making a statement of peculiar identity amid a larger public identity, of maintaining and enacting a counteridentity that refuses "mainstream" identity that itself entails antihuman practice and the worship of antihuman gods. Understood in this way, Sabbath is a bodily act of testimony to alternative values and resistance to pervading values and the assumptions behind those values. In these sessions, consideration will be given to Sabbath keeping as testimony and resistance, acts of faith commonly shared (in different forms) by Jews and Christians.

We suggest that you follow this study with "Sabbath Practices" by Dorothy Bass.

Walter Brueggemann is William Marcellus McPheeters Professor Emeritus of Old Testament at Columbia Theological Seminary. An ordained minister in the United Church of Christ, he is the author of dozens of books, including Sabbath as Resistance: Saying No to the Culture of Now, Journey to the Common Good, and Chosen? Reading the Bible amid the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.


Carol A. Wehrheim is the author of Getting It Together: Spiritual Practices for Faith, Family, and Work; The Baptism of Your Child; and Giving Together: A Stewardship Guide for Families. She is an award-winning Christian educator in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and was named Educator of the Year in 2001 for the Association of Presbyterian Church Educators.


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