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 freshly engage his prophetically minded but approachable writing on the topic.
In Hope Restored, Brueggemann points us toward energizing hope for an alternative life of social equity and thriving. In Brueggemann’s work, hope is not understood as easy optimism but as an honest facing of the unjust structures that human beings have created and a call to lean into the deep symbols of Scripture that imagine the alternative way of God, restoring solidarity and relationship that have been eroded by the violence of empire. According to the witness of Scripture, the divine presence is never settled into the arrangements and structures of the status quo. It provokes God’s people to imagine beyond what they see and beyond their own selfish interests. Hope is always strongest among those who grieve and are willing to insistently critique the complacent, death-dealing social order that coddles the privileged and keeps its foot on the neck of those seen as “other” and to imagine new, whole-making realities on the horizon.
Hope Restored takes readers through the unfolding possibilities for a liberated human imagination in Scripture. Brueggemann envisions the Torah—including the divine promises made to Israel’s ancestral matriarchs and patriarchs, the travails of the exodus and its memory, and the giving of the law—as a collective effort to form a multigenerational community marked by gratitude and solidarity with the marginalized. The historical and prophetic books articulate the hope of shalom in the midst of brutal political violence driven by self-interested nations in which the people of God are often implicated. A deep consideration of Daniel offers a vision of resistance against and an ultimate righting of the abuses of sociopolitical machinations—through both human and divine means. The Psalms lead us into the space of lament, protest, and demand for God to make manifest new visions of life and justice that carry over into Jesus’ story of the aggrieved widow who gives a judge no peace until he grants her justice.
Exploring models of hope that are expressed through critique, persistence, vision, and holy inspiration in the Hebrew Bible and that find continued resonance in the traditions of Jesus, Brueggemann locates in the Scriptures a tenacious shalom that breaks through the rocky ground of struggle and suffering. This gritty, wide-awake hope is willing to be dissatisfied and to cry out against the oppressor, while reaching forward to imagine new alternatives with creativity and freedom, to bring into reality a social order that benefits and cares for all.
Questions for reflection are included at the end of each chapter, making this book ideal for individual or group study.