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Monday, 10 October 2016
A Polemical Narrative

The Creative Word: Canon as a Model for Biblical Education, Second Ed.,
Walter Brueggemann, Fortress Press, 2015, page 39

Walter Brueggemann returns to Israel's narrative and offers a startling comment: Israel's story is not true for everyone all the time.

That is the case because Israel's narrative is a partisan, polemical narrative. It is concerned to build a countercommunity - counter to the oppression of Egypt, counter to the seduction of Canaan, counter to ever cultural alternative and every imperial pretense. There is nothing in this narrative that will appeal to outsiders who belong to another consensus, or who share a different ethos and participate in another epistemology. To such persons, Israel's narratives are silly, narrow, scandalous and obscurantist. The narrative form of the Torah intends to nuture insiders who are willing to risk a specific universe of discourse and cast their lot there.

A typical piece of Brueggemann writing - vocabulary and style - but don't miss the challenge:

It is a significant and telling fact that the more we want to present a religion that accomodates the epistemology of the dominant regime, the more we are pressed to flee the Torah to other parts of the canon.

Think on that and come back tomorrow ...

Posted By Jonathan, 8:00am Comment Comments: 0