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Praise Seeking Understanding
Reading the Psalms with Augustine
POD; Published: 11/8/2007
ISBN: 978-0-8028-4012-7
Price: $ 35.99
304 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 6.14 x 9.21
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Series: Radical Traditions (RT)

Praise Seeking Understanding sits at the intersection of three important fields in theology: theological exegesis, Augustinian studies, and contemporary church practice. Jason Byassee deftly brings the three together, revealing an important symbiotic relationship between them -- a relationship hitherto largely ignored.

Though current exegetical methods have swung away from a Christological reading of the Old Testament -- rejecting in particular Augustine's treatment of the text -- Byassee believes that is a mistake we must remedy. Using a recent translation of Augustine's Enarrationes in Psalmos, Byassee describes in depth Augustine's psalm hermeneutic and his approach to scripture generally, offering a defense of these views in conversation with recent work in theological exegesis.
Carol Zaleski
— Smith College
"Jason Byassee has written an important and encouraging book. Erudite, lucid, and in surprising and revealing ways lighthearted, Praise Seeking Understanding draws the reader into what promises to be the next great chapter in the history of Christian theological exegesis. To read like Augustine, under Byassee's instruction, is to read the divine and human word with deeper conviction and never-ending delight."
Timothy Larsen
— Wheaton College
"Modernist biblical critics robbed the church of the Psalter, but Jason Byassee has stolen it back. Through a brilliant appropriation of Augustine, Praise Seeking Understanding invites us to relearn what was taught long ago on a road to Emmaus — that the Hebrew Scriptures speak to us about Jesus Christ. In confusing times, Byassee is helping to lead the way back to theology and biblical interpretation that is pro Christo et ecclesia. Protestants who have been allergic to all forms of allegory must encounter this winsome and compelling case for reading Holy Scripture in the spirit of Augustinian christological literalism."
Paul J. Griffiths
— University of Illinois at Chicago
"Jason Byassee's book beautifully defends and illustrates the benefits of a fully theological engagement with scripture. He does this by way of an elegant reading of Augustine's Psalms commentary as revelatory of the christology of the Psalms, and he does it judiciously, which is to say assuming neither that Augustine is always right, nor that what he has to say is worthless. Byassee's book may be among the first signs of a rapprochement between the dogmatic defenders of historical-critical method and the advocates of a reappropriation of figural readings of Scripture. If so, it is welcome: each group has much to learn from the other, and we should now be past the purely polemical phase of the engagement between them."