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The Role of Old Testament Theology in Old Testament Interpretation

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 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. ""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, GA ""The present collection of essays by Walter Brueggemann, handily edited by K. C. Hanson, is most welcome. All of the essays originally appeared in Festschriften, which means they are often hard to locate or track down. Readers will be very happy, as am I, to have them gathered together in one place, especially since each essay, and the collection as a whole, is vintage Brueggemann."" --Brent A. Strawn, Professor of Old Testament, Candler School of Theology, Emory University, Atlanta, GA ""The proper subject of the discipline of Old Testament theology is the God of the Old Testament. The role of the Old Testament theologian is to interrogate the living text of the Old Testament relentlessly and passionately, so that its living God might be sought out, brought out, and thought about. No scholar of the last generation has exhibited more constancy in this high calling than Walter Brueggemann, who has been steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the work and word of the Lord. These essays offer a profoundly renewing gift to the field of Old Testament interpretation from one of the finest practitioners of Old Testament theology."" --Rolf Jacobson, Associate Professor of Old Testament, Luther Seminary, St. Paul, MN Walter Brueggemann is William Marcellus McPheeters Professor of Old Testament Emeritus at Columbia Theological Seminary, Decatur, Georgia. He is past president of the Society of Biblical Literature and the author of numerous books, including A Pathway of Interpretation, David and His Theologian, Divine Presence amid Violence, and Praying the Psalms (2nd ed.).
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