Spirit Speech

Lament and Celebration in Preaching

Book - Paperback
Spirit Speech
Paperback ISBN: 9780687659746
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E-Book ISBN: 9781426731976
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Published October 2009

An exploration of the manifestations of the Holy Spirit in preaching

That the Holy Spirit is present in preaching is something we take for granted. How the Spirit is present is a question we seldom ask. Luke Powery suggests that we fail to ask that question to the detriment of our preaching. Drawing on the tradition of African American preaching, he locates the Spirit’s activity in the sermon in two primary places; First, in celebration, the joyous acceptance of God’s gifts to the church and to the world. But equally as powerful is the expression of lament, the lifting up of our sorrow, grief, and suffering. In these two experiences the Spirit plays the decisive role, enabling the preacher to lay the congregation’s joys and sorrows at the feet of the living God, and announcing God’s presence in both our celebration and our lament.

About the Author

Dr. Luke A. Powery

The Rev. Dr. Luke A. Powery is the dean of Duke University Chapel and associate professor of homiletics at Duke Divinity School. A national leader in the theological study of the art of preaching, Powery regularly delivers sermons at Duke Chapel as well as at churches throughout the U.S. and abroad. He is often a keynote speaker and lecturer at educational institutions, conferences, symposia, and retreats.
His teaching and research interests are located at the intersection of preaching, worship, pneumatology, and culture, particularly expressions of the African diaspora. He has written three books: Spirit Speech: Lament and Celebration in Preaching; Dem Dry Bones: Preaching, Death, and Hope; and his latest book Rise Up, Shepherd! Advent Reflections on the Spirituals. He has also co-authored an introductory textbook on pre