Known as one of America’s best theologians and one of the world’s foremost scholars on the Old Testament, Walter Brueggemann has inspired young scholars and students and driven the discourse on theology with some of the biggest players in contemporary Bible scholarship.
Walter Brueggemann declares that the necessary character of truly prophetic preaching today is “a contestation between narratives.” If the dominant narrative of our time promotes national self-sufficiency (through militarism) and personal self-sufficiency (through consumerism), it must be opposed by a different narrative. Prophetic preaching takes its stand in a world claimed by a God who is gracious, uncompromising—and real. Brueggemann writes here for leaders in faith communities who bear the responsibility of preaching. He describes the discipline of a prophetic imagination, in an unflinchingly realistic, unwaveringly candid manner.
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Walter Brueggemann’s early work on prophecy and imagination has become foundational for a whole generation of preachers and scholars, including me. Here he returns to perhaps the most characteristic of all his myriad ventures, with unaltered vigor and razor-sharp edge. Prophets are not just provocateurs: they are those who profoundly love their people, deeply know their tradition, and can’t but speak of what they both love and know. Brueggemann both loves and knows. That’s what makes him a prophet. Would that we were more like him. Reading this book is a healthy first step.
—Sam Wells, vicar, St. Martin-in-the-Fields, London
Walter Brueggemann through his teaching, lecturing, and writing, has effectively demonstrated the significance of the Old Testament for our fractured world today. Recognized as the preeminent interpreter of the ancient texts in relation to questions posed by a variety of academic disciplines, he has shown the way toward a compelling understanding of the major components of the faith and life of ancient Israel, especially its Psalms, the prophets, and the narratives. His award-winning Theology of the Old Testament quickly became a foundational work in the field.
Brueggemann, who holds a ThD from Union Seminary, New York, and a PhD from St. Louis University, is William Marcellus McPheeters Professor of Old Testament at Columbia Theological Seminary, Decatur, Georgia. He was previously professor of Old Testament at Eden Theological Seminary, St. Louis. His many Fortress Press books, including The Threat of Life: Sermons on Pain, Power, and Weakness, exhibit a fecund combination of imaginative power, sound scholarship, and a passion of justice and redemption.