This collection of essays is drawn from a series of previous collections to which the author has contributed that were designed to honor senior scholars in the discipline of Old Testament study. Each of these essays reflects a distinct intention depending on the nature of the original collection in which they appeared and the scholar who was being honored. Taken together, however, this collection amounts to an articulation of Brueggemann’s distinctive approach to the theological interpretation of the Old Testament. Already in his major volume on Old Testament theology, Brueggemann proposed a dynamism of tension, dispute, and contradiction as the text of ancient Israel sought to give voice to the mystery of God as a sustaining and disruptive agent in the life of the world. Over a long period of time, this collection reflects the author’s growing clarity about the task of Old Testament theology. It further reflects on the nature of the biblical text and the way in which the God who inhabits the text runs beyond all of our attempts to define and explain. These essays reflect not so much on methodological issues, but take up the substantive questions that regularly occupied these ancient text-makers.
Foreword by K.C. Hanson
1. The Role of Old Testament Theology in Old Testament Interpretation
2. The Travail of Pardon: Reflections on slh
3. The Defining Utterance on the Lips of the Tishbite: Pondering “The Centrality of the Word”
4. Texts that Linger, Not Yet Overcome
5. A “Characteristic” Reflection on What Comes Next (Jer 32:16-44)
6. A Shattered Transcendence? Exile and Restoration
7. The Epistemological Crisis of Israel’s Two Histories (Jer 9:22-23)
8. “Exodus” in the Plural (Amos 9:7)
9. Theology of the Old Testament: A Prompt Retrospect
Endorsements and Reviews
This book collects several eloquent, eminently readable essays by Walter Brueggemann that ‘lay display’ his interpretive approaches to Old Testament theology. The book can serve both as introduction to his theological legacy and to his work as a public theologian during many battles of our times. Using language that never fails to engage, he illuminates texts, the world, and relationships between the two.
Kathleen M. O’Connor, William Marcellus McPheeters Professor of Old Testament Emerita, Columbia Theological Seminary, Decatur, Georgia
[Brueggemann] has long established himself as one of the most prolific, prophetic and theologically-sensitive exegetes of the Old Testament, and this collection highlights some key aspects of his biblical theology. … A valuable collection of scholarship that might otherwise by overlooked.
Andrew R. Davis, in Theological Studies, Vol 78, No 2