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Being Promised: Theology, Gift, and Practice
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Being Promised: Theology, Gift, and Practice


Eerdmans 2013

Runs on Windows, Mac and mobile.


Promise, along with gift, is among the predominant metaphors in the Western Christian tradition for describing God’s gracious actions. Being Promised argues that promise is itself a kind of double gift—one when the promise is given, one when it is fulfilled—and analyzes the power, time, and place of God’s promise. Gregory Walter offers a theologically rich analysis of promise, anthropological and phenomenological reflection on gift exchange, and a critical appreciation of other theological appropriations of gift to support his argument. Walter clarifies the phenomenon of promise as gift and shows its theological, hermeneutical, and ethical significance.

In the Logos edition, this volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.

Get more resources for theological studies with the Eerdmans Theological Studies Collection

Key Features

  • Offers a theologically rich analysis of promise
  • Presents a critical appreciation of other theological appropriations of gift
  • Explores how “promise” is itself a kind of double gift


  • Promise, Speech-Acts, and Gifts
  • Promise as Gift
  • Weakness and Time
  • The Impure Gift
  • The Topology of Promise

Praise for the Print Edition

The title Being Promised works both ways: How does promising work? And what sort of being does promise open? Gregory Walter takes us through the intertwining postmodern problems of promise and gift with a penetrating eye and with patient teasing and tweaking. An amazing achievement.

Robert W. Jenson, senior scholar for research, Center for Theological Inquiry

Gregory Walter’s Being Promised is brilliant. Drawing on analyses of gift exchange from cultural anthropology and phenomenology, it provides a theological account of promise as gift that moves beyond speech-act theory. Centered on God’s promise in the crucified Jesus, it not only uncovers the phenomenon of promise as gift, but also considers its power, being, and time, how it interacts with the plurality of life’s circumstances, and the place of this promise in the body of Christ and in the neighbor. After reading this book, you will never again speak glibly about hospitality or forgiveness.

—Lois Malcolm, associate professor of systematic theology, Luther Seminary

The dimension of promise has not been adequately mapped in contemporary theological discussions on gift. Gregory Walter accomplishes a detailed topology of this phenomenon, relating biblical promises to the overarching issues of hospitality and recognition. Being Promised demonstrates vividly the relevance of doctrinal theology for current anthropological debates.

Risto Saarinen, professor of ecumenics, University of Helsinki

Product Details

About Gregory A. Walter

Gregory A. Walter is associate professor of religion at St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minnesota.

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