Theology of the Old Testament: Testimony, Dispute, Advocacy

Fortress Press, 2012 M06 1 - 777 páginas
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In this powerful book, Walter Brueggemann moves the discussion of Old Testament theology beyond the dominant models of previous generations.

Brueggemann focuses on the metaphor and imagery of the courtroom trial in order to regard the theological substance of the Old Testament as a series of claims asserted for Yahweh, the God of Israel. This provides a context that attends to pluralism in every dimension of the interpretive process and suggests links to the plurality of voices of our time.


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This book stirs the imagination; in that it invokes/ provokes the reader to enter a (contrived) courtroom drama to engage in the case of Israel viz a viz Yahweh. Held up to scrutiny is the willingness of Israel to come to a unilateral acceptance of Yahweh's standards and requirements for conjoint Divine and effective life for Israel (and hence for all humanity). In contrast Brueggemann daringly suggests that Yahweh's commitment to Israel while ultimately secured- often appears tardy- lacking and often very inadequate. Might Yahweh have done better is the honest cry and query from the Psalms of complaint, Ecclesiastes and especially Job, whose narratives enunciate Israel's real reservations in that regard.
Though he also notices that like Job himself, Israel never becomes in any sense- disparaging of who Yahweh is (or that He is) or how the puzzlingly elusive essence of God for humanity deigns to enunciate that Presence and Monarchical essentiality in revelation, providence and judgement Suffice to say that for Brueggemann Israel seems more adept and able to incorporate the dialectical paradox of covenant and "countertestimony" that thus arises in its life than ongoing Christianity has been able to achieve over time. While Israel is content with question marks- ontologically and futurist;while Christianity insists often on exclamation marks re the text in its theology and hermeneutical approach and hence appears to have a need to define the undefinable in ad nauseam prescriptive and unnecessary fashion..
Brueggemann is conscious that he may have made a step too far for a literalist biblical evangelical audience to appreciate all of what he drives at; but he stresses that he feels he stands in middle of the liberal/ evangelical divide with real sympathies extended and drawn from either side of the hermeneutical chasm. He draws the inferences well, tends to read the Jewish character of the text with greater respect for Jewish understanding and yet in true christian fashion tends to lift the lid on many aspects of puzzling canonical and textual aspects. One area is the preponderance of violence in Israel's history; Brueggemann makes it clear that this vexed area doesn't sit easy with him but concedes that in Israel's estimation at leastYahweh is seen as supportive of conquest and even seems demanding of unilateral violent measures. It may even be that he alludes thereby that aspect is still part of real Middle Eastern mentalities and mindsets today.
While the methodological approach of a courtroom evidentiary witness process- up for counter testimony, cross examination and rebuttal (both from Yahweh's corner and from the defendant Israel) is perhaps an artifice too convenient for some; many will find it an enlightening angle to take as the nub of the question that is still posed for Israel and humanity by Yahweh/ God is echoed in the question that Jesus posed (correctly answered by Peter): "Who do you say that I am?" This real process qua Yahweh and Israel gets a real airing and rounds off many unresolved issues for this reader within the faith- credo to trust Yahweh/ God in Jesus better, as to do it less continues to be an affront and slight inflicted by creature on its Creator..
Rein Zeilstra
Bowan Park NSW

Páginas seleccionadas


Preface to the 2005 Edition
Preface to the 1997 Edition
From the Beginning to the End of a Generative Period
The Contemporary Situation
Part I
ISRAELSCORE TESTIMONY 3 Israels Practice of Testimony
Israel as Yahwehs Partner
Israel asYahwehs Partner
The Human Person as Yahwehs Partner
The HumanPersonasYahwehs Partner 16 The Nations asYahwehs Partner 17 Creation as Yahwehs Partner
Creation asYahwehs Partner
Creation at Yahwehs Behest 18 The Dramaof Partnership withYahweh
Part IV
The Dramaof Partnership with Yahweh Part IV

Testimony in Verbal Sentences
Yahweh with Characteristic Markings
Yahweh as Constant
Yahweh with Characteristic Markings 6 Nouns Yahwehas Constant 7 Yahweh Fully Uttered
Yahweh Fully Uttered The Disjunctive Rendering of Yahweh
Part II
The Hiddenness of Yahweh
CrossExamining IsraelsCore Testimony 9 The Hiddennessof Yahweh
Ambiguity and the Character of Yahweh
Ambiguity andtheCharacter ofYahweh Does Yahweh Abuse? Does Yahweh Contradict?
Yahweh and Negativity
Covenantal Sanctions Theodicy intheOld Testament 12 Maintaining the Tension
Yahweh andNegativity 12 Maintaining The Tension Part III
Interpretation in the Christian Tradition
The Kingas Mediator 22 The Prophetas Mediator
Kingship andExile Kingship and Hope 22 The Prophetas Mediator Odd Originary Speakers
The Cult as Mediator
The Sage as Mediator
Modes of Mediation and Life with Yahweh
Yahweh MadeAvailable Embodied Communal Practice
Part V
Interpretation in a Pluralistic Context
The Constitutive Power of Israels Testimony
Some Pervasive Issues 29 MovingTowardTrue Speech
Interpretation ina Pluralistic Context
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Acerca del autor (2012)

Walter Brueggemann is William Marcellus McPheeters Professor of Old Testament Emeritus at Columbia Theological Seminary and the author of numerous books including, from Fortress Press, The Prophetic Imagination; Theology of the Old Testament; and The Creative Word. Rebecca J. Kruger Gaudino is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ and holds a doctorate in English.

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