Jan 16, 2017 Richard Mansfield

Walter Brueggemann, Theologian of the Old Testament

Brueggemann - portrait Today, we are very pleased to release 23 volumes by one of the best known Old Testament scholars of our time, Walter Brueggemann. Accordance users have been requesting various titles by this well-known theologian for quite a while, and I’m not certain I remember when we’ve ever released so many diverse titles all at once for an author.

Currently the William Marcellus McPheeters Professor Emeritus of Old Testament at Columbia Theological Seminary, Walter Brueggemann is one of the best known Old Testament theologians alive today, specifically associated with postmodern Old Testament theology. What does that mean? To answer that question, I have condensed and adapted a review of Brueggemann’s Theology of the Old Testament I wrote a few years ago. If you are unfamiliar with Brueggemann’s thought, the perspective described below will be fairly representative of many of his works.

To begin with, Brueggemann rejects attempts to find certitude regarding the biblical texts, and pursues an ongoing theme in his works in which God always sides with the oppressed. From his perspective, a demise of historical criticism in a postmodern age is welcomed because all readings of the text are placed on the same level.

In describing postmodern interpretation, Brueggemman believes that it must take place in a “pluralistic context.” He suggests the day when interpretation was pretty much the same and controlled by a small number of academic elite is now over. Brueggemann proclaims, “The postmodern situation is signified precisely by the disappearance of any common, universal assumptions at the outset of reading” (Theology of the Old Testament, p. 62).

Of course, not all will agree with Brueggemann here. One may get the impression from his writings that every interpretation is on equal footing except that of anyone who holds to evangelical interpretations or interpretations rooted in the methodologies of historical criticism over the last century. But has there ever been a consensus among biblical scholars—Old Testament or otherwise?

Brueggemann may see himself as a kind of liberator for the biblical text when he makes the statement, “We now recognize that there is no interest-free interpretation, no interpretation that is not in the sense of some interest and in some sense advocacy” (Theology of the Old Testament, p. 63 ) Of course, many will hardly see this as a new revelation. Certainly, no one is ever completely objective; we know that we carry presuppositions, and from that assumption, Brueggemann is right when he states there are no “interest-free” interpretations. However, the reader will have to decide how to weigh opposing interpretations.

Regarding the biblical text, Brueggemann sees it open for continuing interpretation. In a section he calls, “The Dynamic Practice of the Torah,”  Brueggemann says that

Christians who seek to understand what is intended in Torah will have to move beyond conventional, polemical caricatures of legalism, in order to ponder an interpretive practice that is (a) intransigently normative and yet enormously open to adaptation; and (b) has an uncompromising sovereign at its center, but with a capacity to attend in delicate ways to the detail of its existence. This elasticity, moreover, invites and requires endless, ongoing interpretive work, never reaching its closure, but always being responsive in ways that preclude final settlement. (p. 595)

Some may be concerned that the above understanding will in the end undermine any possibility of the Bible containing ultimate authority or truth. If the scriptures can be repeatedly reinterpreted with no set limits on the method of interpretation, and without ever a possibility of achieving the right interpretation, final for all time, then all truth becomes relative. However, this may be exactly what Brueggemann wants.

Brueggemann - Theology - iPad On the other hand, while saying that we can have no presuppositions about the text, Brueggemann is giving them to us. Besides the Scriptures being open to continuing interpretation, he states that the Old Testament is a continuous dialectic and that revelation is merely testimony—not by God but rather Israel’s utterances about God.

Click/tap the image on the left to see a larger view oif Brueggemann's Theology of the Old Testament in Accordance Mobile on the iPad.

As mentioned, we are making available 23 titles by Walter Brueggemann today. They range in subject matter from the intensely theological to the highly personal. Brueggemann has always had one foot in academia with the other firmly placed in the church. His writings include not just writings on Old Testament theology but also preaching and Christian education. The most economical way to obtain Brueggemann’s works for your personal Accordance Library is to purchase all volumes together. However, we have also sorted his books by theme and will be selling them in sets of three, four, and five volumes.

Or if you want to make your own set, select any three or more titles and use coupon code 3WBRU to receive an extra 10% discount (in addition to any discount you may normally receive).


Below is a list of several bundles of Brueggemann products. In addition to the bundles, each volume is also available for individual purchase.

The Accordance Brueggemann Collection (23 Volumes)

Brueggemann-23

The Accordance Brueggemann Collection (23 Volumes)

Contains all 23 volumes listed below

List Price $534
Regular Price $379

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The Practical Brueggemann Bundle (5 Volumes)

Brueggemann-Practical

The Practical Brueggemann Bundle (5 Vols.)

  • Awed to Heaven, Rooted in Earth: Prayers of Walter Brueggemann
  • The Creative Word, 2nd Edition: Canon as a Model for Biblical Education
  • Inscribing the Text: Sermons and Prayers of Walter Brueggemann
  • Interpretation and Obedience: From Faithful Reading to Faithful Living
  • The Word That Redescribes the World: The Bible and Discipleship

List Price $118
Regular Price $89.90

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Brueggemann-Awed

Awed to Heaven, Rooted in Earth: Prayers of Walter Brueggemann

Full of reflection, faith, and dialogue, this collection of prayers reveal another side of this gifted author from what his many readers are accustomed to. These deeply felt and sparklingly articulated prayers reflect a wide range of life experiences.

Regular Price $18.90

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The Creative Word, 2nd Edition: Canon as a Model for Biblical Education

Incorporating the best insights from his own career and from the fields of canonical criticism, Old Testament theology, and pedagogical theory, Brueggemann offers a vision of how the community can draw on the shape of Scripture to educate its members.

Regular Price $28.90

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Inscribing the Text: Sermons and Prayers of Walter Brueggemann

“The sermons and prayers of this particular scribe...will linger to re-text and re-ignite another generation of preachers.”

Regular Price $22.90

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Brueggemann-Interpret_120

Interpretation and Obedience: From Faithful Reading to Faithful Living

Drawing on specific texts that speak to cosmic hurt and personal possibility, Brueggemann demonstrates the essential connection between faithful reading of the biblical text and faithful living in a world of banal, yet threatening values.

Regular Price $21.90

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The Word That Redescribes the World: The Bible and Discipleship

In the people of Israel, Brueggemann finds a discipleship model of an alternative community anchored in YHWH.

Regular Price $24.90

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The Theological Brueggemann Bundle (3 Volumes)

Brueggemann-Theological

The Theological Brueggemann Bundle (3 Volumes)

  • Old Testament Theology: Essays on Structure, Theme, and Text
  • Disruptive Grace: Reflections on God, Scripture, and the Church
  • Theology of the Old Testament: Testimony, Dispute, Advocacy

List Price $109
Regular Price $84.90

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Brueggemann-Essays_120

Old Testament Theology: Essays on Structure, Theme, and Text

In these essays, Brueggemann addresses the necessity for thinking about the shape and structure of Old Testament theology—and for the impact such thinking can have on the larger issues of contemporary life.

Regular Price $34.90

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Brueggemann-Disruptive_120

Disruptive Grace: Reflections on God, Scripture, and the Church

These chapters gather Brueggemann's recent addresses and essays, never published before, drawn from all three parts of the Hebrew Bible—Torah, Prophets, and Writings—and address the role of the Hebrew canon in the life of the church.

Regular Price $38.90

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Brueggemann-Theology_120

Theology of the Old Testament: Testimony, Dispute, Advocacy

In this powerful book, Brueggemann moves the discussion of Old Testament theology beyond the dominant models of previous generations.

Regular Price $34.90

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The Historical Brueggemann Bundle (4 Volumes)

Brueggemann-Historical

The Historical Brueggemann Bundle (4 Volumes)

  • The Prophetic Imagination (Second Edition)
  • David’s Truth in Israel’s Imagination and Memory (Second Edition)
  • Hopeful Imagination: Prophetic Voices in Exile
  • The Land: Place as Gift, Promise, and Challenge in Biblical Faith

List Price $84.00
Regular Price $65.90

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Brueggemann-Prophetic_120

The Prophetic Imagination (Second Edition)

In this challenging and enlightening treatment, Brueggemann traces the lines from the radical vision of Moses to the solidification of royal power in Solomon to the prophetic critique of that power with a new vision of freedom in the prophets.

Regular Price $18.90

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David’s Truth in Israel’s Imagination and Memory (Second Edition)

In this completely revised edition of a true classic, Brueggemann thoughtfully examines four different sets of David narratives. The tribe, the family, the state, and the assembly each has a different agenda and thus draws a very different portrait of the one who helps define them and is defined by them.

Regular Price $16.90

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Hopeful Imagination: Prophetic Voices in Exile

Brueggemann here examines the literature and experience of an era in which Israel’s prophets faced the pastoral responsibility of helping people to enter into exile, to be in exile, and to depart out of exile. He addresses three major prophetic traditions: Jeremiah (the pathos of God), Ezekiel (the holiness of God), and 2 Isaiah (the newness of God).

Regular Price $22.90

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The Land: Place as Gift, Promise, and Challenge in Biblical Faith

The land was one of the most vibrant symbols for the people of ancient Israel. In the land—gift, promise, and challenge—was found the physical source of Israel’s fertility and life, and a place for the gathering of the hopes of the covenant people. In this careful treatment, Brueggemann follows the development of his theme through the major blocks of Israel’s traditions.

Regular Price $24.90

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The Book Study Brueggemann Bundle (4 Volumes)

Brueggemann-BookStudy

The Book Study Brueggemann Bundle (4 Volumes)

  • Like Fire in the Bones: Listening for the Prophetic Word in Jeremiah
  • Israel’s Praise: Doxology Against Idolatry and Ideology
  • The Message of the Psalms: A Theological Commentary
  • Spirituality of the Psalms

List Price $75.00
Regular Price $59.90

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Like Fire in the Bones: Listening for the Prophetic Word in Jeremiah

Be prepared to learn a great deal about the contemporary interpretation of the book of Jeremiah. There is no better guide to what is going on in Jeremianic studies than the opening essays of this volume.

Regular Price $24.90

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Israel’s Praise: Doxology Against Idolatry and Ideology

Brueggemann argues that, rightly practiced, the Psalms of Israel make available an evangelical world of Yahweh’s sovereignty—–a world marked by justice, righteousness, mercy, peace, and compassion.

Regular Price $18.90

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Brueggemann-Message_120

The Message of the Psalms: A Theological Commentary

Brueggemann explores how the genres of the Psalms can be viewed in terms of their function. This results in fresh readings of these ancient songs that illumine their spiritual depth. The voices of the Psalms come through in all their bold realism.

Regular Price $18.90

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Spirituality of the Psalms

The seasons of our lives change. Using a model of orientation—disorientation—new orientation, Brueggemann explores how the genres of the Psalms can be viewed in terms of their function.

Spirituality of the Psalms is an abridgement of Message of the Psalms.

Regular Price $11.90

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The Biblical Studies Brueggemann Bundle (4 Volumes)

Brueggemann-BiblicalStudies

The Biblical Studies Brueggemann Bundle (4 Volumes)

  • The Book That Breathes New Life: Scriptural Authority and Biblical Theology
  • Texts Under Negotiation: The Bible and Postmodern Imagination
  • A Social Reading of the Old Testament
  • An Unsettling God: The Heart of the Hebrew Bible

List Price $85.00
Regular Price $66.90

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Brueggemann-Book_120

The Book That Breathes New Life: Scriptural Authority and Biblical Theology

The purpose of this collection of Brueggemann’s essays is to bring to the fore a much more extensive critical engagement on his part with the current discussion about the Old Testament, its character, its authority, its theology, and especially its God.

Regular Price $24.90

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Brueggemann-Negotiation_120

Texts Under Negotiation: The Bible and Postmodern Imagination

Brueggemann issues a passionate call for a bold restructuring of the imagination of faith in our “postmodern” context. Old assumptions— (rational, objectivist, absolutist) —have for the most part given way to new outlooks, which can be grouped under the term postmodern.

Regular Price $15.90

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A Social Reading of the Old Testament

In this book, Walter Brueggemann raises a variety of contemporary and intriguing questions on the relation of society and text in the Old Testament, among them—the hidden agendas that underlie the making and reading of Scripture:

  • the conflictual tension in ancient Israel
  • the cry to God of the oppressed and God’s response
  • the political dimension of mercy
  • theodicy, violence, horses, and chariots.

Regular Price $21.90

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An Unsettling God: The Heart of the Hebrew Bible

In the pages of the Hebrew Bible, ancient Israel gave witness to its encounter with a profound and uncontrollable reality experienced through relationship. This book, drawn from the heart of Brueggemann’s Theology of the Old Testament, distills a career’s worth of insights into the core message of the Hebrew Bible.

Regular Price $21.90

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The Preaching Brueggemann Bundle (3 Volumes)

Brueggemann-Preaching

The Preaching Brueggemann Bundle (3 Volumes)

  • The Word Militant: Preaching a Decentering Word
  • The Practice of Prophetic Imagination: Preaching an Emancipated Word
  • The Threat of Life: Sermons on Pain, Power, and Weakness

List Price $63.00
Regular Price $49.90

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Brueggemann-Militant_120

The Word Militant: Preaching a Decentering Word of the Bible

Against the easy assurance of a too-enculturated religion, Walter Brueggemann refocuses the preaching task around the decentering, destabilizing, always risky Word that confronts us in Scripture – if we have the courage to hear. These powerful essays, previously available only in journals, are here combined with a newly composed preface and introduction.

Regular Price $19.90

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Brueggemann-Practice_120

The Practice of Prophetic Imagination: Preaching an Emancipated Word

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.

Regular Price $24.90

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The Threat of Life: Sermons on Pain, Power, and Weakness

Included in these Brueggemann sermons are keen observations about the timeless issues of human life, both personal and social: the pain we face, often inflicted on each other; the use and abuse of power; the weakness and fragility of life; the redemptive power of faith; and much more.

Regular Price $17.90

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