Reality, Grief, Hope: New book excerpts and upcoming contest
Dr. Brueggemann has a new book set to be released by Eerdmans on February 7 entitled Reality, Grief, Hope: Three Urgent Prophetic Tasks. (Pre-order from Eerdmans here or Amazon here.) For the next month, we’ll be featuring excerpts from the book, culminating with a chance to win a free copy and a discount to purchase the book.
Excerpt 1: Three Urgent Prophetic Tasks: An Introduction
(Posted with permission from Eerdmans)
There is no doubt that the destruction of Jerusalem in 587 B.C.E. is the defining historical event in the literature of the Old Testament. That destruction and the dislocation that followed amounted to a huge upheaval of every dimension of Israel’s life, including displacement of theological certitude. I propose that one can trace that theological crisis to:
- confidence in the ideology of chosenness held by the Jerusalem establishment,
- denial amid the crisis that that ideology had failed and was not sustainable, and
- despair when the denial was broken and reality was faced.
In what follows, I will propose, acknowledging the cultural divide, that the crisis of 9/11 amounted to this same kind of defining dislocation in our society as did the destruction of Jerusalem in that ancient society. The impact of 9/11, along with the loss of life, was an important turn in societal ideology. We have been forced to face new waves of vulnerability that we had not before acknowledged. The force of that fresh awareness is evident in that various scrambles for security that have ensued since that event. I propose that in our society, as in that ancient society, one can trace our theological crisis according to
- confidence in the ideology of exceptionalism,
- denial amid the crisis, that the ideology has failed and is not sustainable, and
- despair once the denial is broken and reality is faced.