The Walter Brueggemann Library brings together the wide-ranging and enlivening thought of popular biblical scholar Walter Brueggemann over his storied career. Each volume collects previously published work on a biblical theme that has deeply informed Brueggemann’s scholarship, in an accessible digest for readers who want to engage his writing on the topic.
This first volume in the series, Deliver Us, fittingly begins with the narrative of the exodus. Brueggemann has consistently brought attention to how the themes of the exodus event and the stories of the giving of the law that follow lay the groundwork for a biblical understanding of salvation. Drawn from numerous publications in recent decades, this volume reveals Brueggemann’s clear understanding that divine liberation from exploitation and acquisitiveness also means liberation for generous action for the common benefit. This salvation involves not the security of the individual soul but a wholehearted transformation of social identities and relationships. With the gift of deliverance—dramatically enacted in the Hebrew people’s being led out from the oppression of pharoah—comes the task of obedience—articulated in the covenantal laws given at Mount Sinai, in the wilderness, and beyond.
Brueggemann shows how this double theme of the gift and the task is forged in the exodus narrative, then reenacted in salvation motifs throughout the Bible. The people of God, always susceptible to mentalities of scarcity, selfishness, and the compulsion to consume, are again and again called out by the subversive message of the prophets, and Jesus himself, to forsake exploitation and to liberate the marginalized—to return to covenant obedience and align themselves with God’s radical commitment to create and sustain a more just and flourishing world.Deliver Us extends this same message of salvation, insightfully elucidated by Brueggemann in this single volume, for the benefit of both individual readers and the contemporary church
Questions for reflection are included at the end of each chapter, making this book ideal for individual or group study.
“Reading Deliver Us, especially in these dark times, is an exhilarating experience. The exodus story boldly speaks to our troubles. Brilliance and an abiding commitment to a more merciful and just social order jump from the page.” —Eddie S. Glaude Jr., James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor, Princeton University
“You will need this on your shelf, coming to it again and again to deliver yourself from stale theologies and to liberate God—and hope—for a generation desperately needing to know the true heart of the One who frees us to flourish in community.” —Jacqui Lewis, author, activist, preacher, and Senior Minister for Public Theology and Transformation, Middle Church, New York
“Few people have inspired me more than Brueggemann, especially as we try to understand what it means to be God’s peculiar people in the belly of the empire. This series is sort of like the ʽbest hits’ album of one of the world’s greatest theologians.” —Shane Claiborne, author, activist, and cofounder of Red Letter Christians