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Professor of Theology, Eden Theological Seminary (1961-1986); Professor of Theology, Columbia Theological Seminary (1986-2003); William Marcellus McPheeters Professor Emeritus of Old Testament, Columbia Theological Seminary (2003-present)
Walter Brueggemann (born March 11, 1933) is an American Protestant Old Testament scholar and theologian who is widely considered one of the most influential Old Testament scholars of the last several decades. He is an important figure in modern progressive Christianity whose work often focuses on the Hebrew prophetic tradition and sociopolitical imagination of the Church. He argues that the Church must provide a counter-narrative to the dominant forces of consumerism, militarism, and nationalism.
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." Brueggemann participated in Bill Moyers' 1990s PBS television series on Genesis (documented in Genesis: A Living Conversation. Main Street Books, 1997. ISBN0-385-49043-7).[page needed]
Originally a strong supporter of modern day Israel and its biblical claims, Brueggemann later repudiated Israel for its exploitation of "ancient promises" to create a "toxic ideology," and now affirms his belief that it is not anti-Semitic to stand up for justice for Palestinians.
Brueggemann is known throughout the world for his method of combining literary and sociological modes when reading the Bible. V. S. Parrish categorized Brueggemann as being an exegete and theologian. 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. For example, he believes that lament is lacking in current religious faith and practice with detrimental results according to the subject. 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.
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
D.D., Huron University College, 2014
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).