Walter Brueggemann

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Walter Brueggemann (born 1933 in Tilden, Nebraska) is an American Protestant Old Testament scholar and theologian. Brueggemann is widely considered one of the most influential Old Testament scholars of the last several decades.[1]


Brueggemann received an A.B. from Elmhurst College (1955), a B.D. from Eden Theological Seminary (1958), a Th.D. from Union Theological Seminary, New York (1961), and Ph.D. from Saint Louis University (in 1974). The son of a minister of the German Evangelical Synod of North America, he was ordained in the United Church of Christ. He was professor of Old Testament (1961–1986) and Dean (1968–1982) at Eden Theological Seminary. Beginning in 1986, he served as William Marcellus McPheeters professor of Old Testament at Columbia Theological Seminary, from which he retired in the early 2000s. An ordained minister in the United Church of Christ, Brueggemann currently resides in Cincinnati, Ohio (2008).


Brueggemann is an advocate and practitioner of rhetorical criticism. He has written more than 58 books, hundreds of articles, and several commentaries on books of the Bible. He is also a contributor to a number of the Living the Questions DVD programs and is featured in the program "Countering Pharaoh's Production-Consumption Society Today."[citation needed] Brueggemann participated in Bill Moyers' 1990s PBS television series on Genesis (documented in Genesis: A Living Conversation. Main Street Books, 1997. ISBN 0-385-49043-7).[page needed]

Originally a strong supporter of Israel and its Biblical claims, Brueggemann later repudiated Israel for its exploitation of "ancient promises" to create a "toxic ideology," and now affirms that it's not anti-Semitic to stand up for justice for Palestinians.[2]

Brueggemann is known throughout the world for his method of combining literary and sociological modes when reading Bible. V. S. Parrish categorized Brueggemann as being an exegete and theologian.[citation needed] As an exegete he has composed several commentaries (Genesis, Exodus, Deuteronomy, 1 and 2 Samuel, Isaiah, and Jeremiah). His most notable work was on the book of Psalms, and he has written many monographs and articles on specific portions of the Hebrew Bible. As a theologian he has been an editor for the Fortress Press series "Overtures to Biblical Theology". His development of Old Testament theological methods consists of literary mode, social function, and dialectical approach.[clarification needed] Titles such as "David's Truth in Israel's Imagination and Memory" (1985), "Power, Providence and Personality" (1990), "1 Kings and 2 Kings" (1982c), "The Prophetic Imagination" (1978), and "Hopeful Imagination" (1986) reflect his interest in the prophetic corpus.[3]


Among his honors are:

  • LL.D., DePauw University, 1984
  • D.D., Virginia Theological Seminary, 1988
  • D.H.Litt., Doane College, 1990
  • D.D., Jesuit School of Theology, 1993
  • D.Litt., Colgate University, 1997
  • D.H.Litt., Elmhurst College, 1997

There is also a festschrift in his honor: God in the Fray: A Tribute to Walter Brueggemann (eds. Tod Linafelt and Timothy K. Beal, Minneapolis: Fortress Press).


  • Abiding Astonishment: Psalms, Modernity, and the Making of History. Louisville: John Knox Press, 1991. ISBN.
  • Advent/Christmas; Proclamation 3: Aids for Interpreting the Lessons of the Church Year, Series B. Edited by Elizabeth Achtemeier. Fortress Press, 1984.
  • An Unsettling God. Fortress Press, 2009. ISBN 978-0-8006-6363-6.
  • Awed to Heaven, Rooted in Earth: Prayers of Walter Brueggemann. Fortress Press, 2003. ISBN
  • Belonging and Growing in the Christian Community. Edited by Elizabeth McWhorter. General Assembly Mission Board, Presbyterian Church in the United States, 1979.
  • The Bible Makes Sense. St Mary's College Press, 1977.
  • Biblical Perspectives on Evangelism: Living in a Three-Storied Universe. Abingdon Press, 1993.
  • "The Book of Exodus". In The New Interpreter's Bible. Vol. 1. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1994. ISBN.
  • The Book That Breathes New Life: Scriptural Authority and Biblical Theology. 2005. ISBN.
  • Cadences of Home: Preaching among Exiles. Westminster/John Knox Press, 1997.
  • The Collected Sermons of Walter Brueggemann. 2011.
  • A Commentary on Jeremiah: Exile and Homecoming. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1998.
  • Confirming Our Faith, Chapters 4,5,7,8,9,18; edited by Larry E Kalp. United Church Press, 1980.
  • Confronting the Bible: A Resource and Discussion Book for Youth. United Church Press, 1968.
  • The Creative Word: Canon as a Model for Biblical Education. Fortress Press, 1982.
  • David's Truth: In Israel's Imagination and Memory. Fortress Press, 1985.
  • ---. 2d ed. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2002. ISBN.
  • Deuteronomy: Abingdon Old Testament Commentaries. Abingdon Press, 2001. ISBN.
  • Divine Presence amid Violence: Contextualizing the Book of Joshua. Cascade Books, 2009. ISBN 978-1-60608-089-4.
  • Easter; Proclamation 4 (Series A). Fortress Press, 1989.
  • Ethos and Ecumenism: The History of Eden Theological Seminary, 1925-1970. Eden Publishing House, 1975.
  • The Evangelical Catechism Revisited, 1847-1972. Eden Publishing House, 1972.
  • Fatal Embrace: Christians, Jews, and the Search for Peace in the Holy Land. Synergy Books, 2010. ISBN 978-0-9840760-7-9. Foreword to the book by Mark Braverman.
  • Finally Comes the Poet: Daring Speech for Proclamation. Augsburg Fortress Publishers, 1989. ISBN.
  • First and Second Samuel: Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching. Atlanta: John Knox Press, 1990. ISBN.
  • I Kings (Knox Preaching Guides). Edited by John H Hayes. John Knox Press, 1982.
  • II Kings (Knox Preaching Guides). Edited by John H Hayes. John Knox Press, 1982.
  • 1 & 2 Kings: Smyth & Helwys Bible Commentary. Smyth & Helwys Publishing, 2000. ISBN.
  • Genesis: Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching. Atlanta: John Knox Press, 1982. ISBN X.
  • Hope Within History. Atlanta: John Knox Press, 1987. ISBN.
  • Hopeful Imagination: Prophetic Voices in Exile. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1986. ISBN.
  • In Man We Trust: The Neglected Side of Biblical Faith. John Knox Press, 1972. ISBN 0-8042-0199-4.
  • Interpretation and Obedience: From Faithful Reading to Faithful Living. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1991. ISBN.
  • An Introduction to the Old Testament: The Canon and Christian Imagination. Westminster John Knox Press, 2003. ISBN.
  • Isaiah 1–39. Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster John Knox Press, 1998. ISBN.
  • Isaiah 40–66. Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster John Knox Press, 1998. ISBN.
  • Israel's Praise: Doxology Against Idolatry and Ideology. Fortress Press, 1988.
  • With George R Beasley-Murray, Jeremiah: Faithfulness in the Midst of Fickleness. The Newell Lectureships II edited by Timothy Dwyer. Warner Press, Inc, 1993.
  • Journey to the Common Good. Westminster/John Knox Press, 2010. ISBN 978-0-664-23516-1
  • The Land: Place as Gift, Promise, and Challenge in Biblical Faith. Fortress Press, 1977, 2002. ISBN 978-0-8006-3462-9.
  • ---. 2d ed. Overtures to Biblical Theology. Fortress Press, 2002. ISBN.
  • Living toward a Vision: Biblical Reflections on Shalom. United Church Press, 1976, 1982.
  • Mandate to Difference: An Invitation to the Contemporary Church. Westminster John Knox Press, 2007. ISBN 978-0-664-23121-7
  • The Message of the Psalms: A Theological Commentary. Minneapolis: Augsburg, 1984. ISBN.
  • Old Testament Theology: An Introduction. Abingdon Press, 2008.
  • Old Testament Theology: Essays on Structure, Theme, and Text. Edited by Patrick D Miller. Fortress Press, 1992.
  • Out of Babylon. Abingdon Press, 2010. ISBN 978-1-4267-1005-6.
  • Power, Providence & Personality; Biblical Insight into Life and Ministry. Westminster/John Knox, 1990.
  • Prayers for a Privileged People. Abingdon Press, 2008. ISBN 0-687-65019-4.
  • Praying the Psalms. St Mary's College Press, 1982.
  • ---. 2d ed. Cascade Books, 2007. ISBN 978-1-55635-283-6.
  • The Prophetic Imagination. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1978. ISBN.
  • ---. 2d ed. Fortress Press, 2001. ISBN.
  • The Psalms and the Life of Faith. Edited by Patrick D Miller. Fortress Press, 1995.
  • The Renewing Word. Edited by Elmer JF Arndt. United Church Press, 1968.
  • Revelation and Violence: A Study in Contextualization; 1986 Pere Marquette Theology Lecture. Marquette University Press, 1986.
  • Reverberations of Faith: A Theological Handbook of Old Testament Themes. Westminster John Knox Press, 2002. ISBN.
  • A Social Reading of the Old Testament: Prophetic Approaches to Israel's Communal Life. Edited by Patrick D Miller. Fortress Press, 1994.
  • With Charles B Cousar et al., Texts for Preaching: A Lectionary Commentary Based on the NRSV-Year A. Westminster/John Knox, 1995.
  • With Charles B Cousar et al., Texts for Preaching: A Lectionary Commentary Based on the NRSV-Year B. Westminster/John Knox, 1993.
  • Texts under Negotiation: The Bible and Postmodern Imagination. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1993. ISBN.
  • The Theology of the Book of Jeremiah. Cambridge Univ. Press, 2006. ISBN.
  • Theology of the Old Testament. Fortress Press, 2005. ISBN.
  • The Threat of Life: Sermons on Pain, Power, and Weakness. Edited by Charles L Campbell. Fortress Press, 1996.
  • To Act Justly, Love Tenderly, Walk Humbly. (With Sharon Parks and Thomas H Groome). Paulist Press, 1986.
  • ---. WIPF & Stock, 1997.
  • To Build, to Plant: A Commentary on Jeremiah 26–52: International Theological Commentary on the Old Testament. Continuum International Publishing Group, 1991. ISBN.
  • To Pluck Up, to Tear Down: A Commentary on the Book of Jeremiah 1–25: International Theological Commentary on the Old Testament. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1988. ISBN.
  • Tradition for Crisis: A Study in Hosea. John Knox Press, 1968.
  • Using God's Resources Wisely: Isaiah and Urban Possibility. Westminster/John Knox, 1993.
  • The Vitality of Old Testament Traditions. John Knox Press, 1975.
  • ---. John Knox Press, 1982.
  • What Are Christians For? An Enquiry into Obedience and Dissent. Pflaum-Standard, 1971.


  1. ^ "33rd G. Arthur Keough Lectures". Washington Adventist University. Retrieved 13 October 2013. 
  2. ^ Walter Brueggemann, Foreword to "Fatal Embrace: Christians, Jews and the Search for Peace in the Holy Land", Mark Braverman, Synergy Books, 2010
  3. ^ Mckim, Donald (2007). Dictionary of Major Biblical Interpreters. City: IVP Academic. pp. 242–247. ISBN 0-8308-2927-X. 

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