A Transforming Path – The Pilgrims’ Songs

in European Judaism
Klara Butting Centre for Biblical Spirituality and Social Responsibility, Woltersburger Mühle, Uelzen, Germany

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This article introduces the composition of the Pilgrim Psalms (120–134). Psalm 122 plays a key role in this. Jerusalem, the destination of the trip, will be a stop on the way. The pilgrimage to the place of faith becomes a path to the points of suffering in society. The background comes into view with Psalm 123, a psalm lacking an expression of trust, the low point of the entire trip. It begins the spiritual work that always occurs in places of faith: The language of power and the language of religion have become intermingled and perverted perceptions of God. Psalm 123 counteracts this misunderstanding of God by addressing God. In Psalm 123 the power and nature of prayer can be experienced intensely. Prayer is the discovery of God's surrender to us humans and an act of freedom in relation to the existing balance of power.

Contributor Notes

Prof. Dr Klara Butting, as pastor of the Protestant Lutheran Church of Hannover, heads the Centre for Biblical Spirituality and Social Responsibility at the Woltersburger Mühle, Uelzen. She is Old Testament and Biblical Theology professor at the Bochum University, co-editor of the periodical Junge Kirche and author of numerous publications. www.woltersburger-muehle.de.

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European Judaism

A Journal for the New Europe


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