Shorter Reviews and Notices -- Old Testament Theology: Essays on Structure, Theme, and Text by Walter Brueggemann and Edited by Patrick D. Miller Jr

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OLD TESTAMENT THEOLOGY: ESSAYS ON STRUCTURE, THEME, AND TEXT, by Walter Brueggemann. Edited by Patrick D. Miller, Jr. Fortress Press, Minneapolis, 1992. 318 pp. $16.95 (paper). ISBN 0-8006-2537-4.

Fifteen of Brueggemann's essays, published in eight different scholarly journals (e.g., JSOT, CBQ) and two festschriften between the years 1978 and 1993(!) are here brought together as soundings and probes in Old Testament theology. Brueggemann, author of commentaries (e.g., Genesis, Samuel, Jeremiah) and several monographs (e.g., The Prophetic Imagination), is professor of Old Testament at Columbia Theological Seminary.

Several of the essays, beginning with the first two--"Structure Legitimation" and "Embrace of Pain"--examine the possibilities of organizing an Old Testament theology around bipolar concepts variously characterized as Davidic royal/sapiential/ordering and Mosaic covenantal/prophetic/subversive. Impulse for such a shape for an Old Testament theology accords with a typology Brueggemann summarized in a 1980 essay, "A Convergence in Recent Old Testament Theologies," in which he sketched the dialectical nature of several Old Testament theologians--Claus Westermann, Samuel Terrien, and Paul Hanson. Half the essays are of another kind--expositions of pericopes (e. …