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The Beatitudes are among the most influential teachings in human history. For two millennia, they have appeared in poetry and politics, and in the thought of mystics and activists, as Christians and others have reflected on their meaning and shaped their lives according to the Beatitudes’ wisdom.
But what does it mean to be hungry, or meek, or pure in heart? Is poverty a material condition or a spiritual one? And what does being blessed entail?
In this book, Rebekah Eklund explores how the Beatitudes have affected readers across differing eras and contexts. From Matthew and Luke in the first century, to Martin Luther King Jr. and Billy Graham in the twentieth, Eklund considers how men and women have understood and applied the Beatitudes to their own lives through the ages. Reading in the company of past readers helps us see how rich and multifaceted the Beatitudes truly are, illuminating what they might mean for us today.
Table of Contents
1. Meet the Beatitudes: Some Basic Questions
2. The Tangled Skein of Our Lives: A Whirlwind Tour through History
3. Drained of All Other Waters: The Poor in Spirit and the Poor
4. By Trials Furrowed: Those Who Mourn and Weep
5. Yield Your Ground: The Meek
6. Our Daily Bread: The Hungry and Thirsty (for Justice)
7. Stretching Out the Hand: The Merciful
8. Such Powerful Light: The Pure in Heart
9. The Heart of God: The Peacemakers
10. Mischief-Makers and Bandits: The Persecuted
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