A Biblical Theology of Exile

A Biblical Theology of Exile

A Biblical Theology of Exile

A Biblical Theology of Exile

Synopsis

The Christian church continues to seek ethical and spiritual models from the period of Israel's monarchy and has avoided the gravity of the Babylonian exile. Against this tradition, the author argues that the period of focus for the canonical construction of biblical thought is precisely the exile. Here the voices of dissent arose and articulated words of truth in the context of failed power.

Excerpt

Themes of “exile” have been of interest to me since I completed my dissertation on the Babylonian exile under the patient guidance of Professors John Barton and Bryan Wilson at Oxford University. I was particularly grateful, therefore, to Walter Brueggemann when he suggested in 1999 that I consider writing a new work on the biblical exile with a more directly theological orientation, as a volume in the Overtures to Biblical Theology series. I was honored to be asked to join this series, and I am deeply humbled by the company I now keep.

It is important to note that some of the material I have used in this work has appeared in the context of other writings. While none of the chapters reproduces exactly any of my previous work, chapter two is a greatly revised and expanded version of “Reassessing the Historical and Sociological Impact of the Babylonian Exile (597/587–539 BCE),” in Exile: Old Testament, Jewish and Christian Conceptions, edited by James M. Scott (Leiden: Brill, 1997) 7–36. Similarly, elements of chapter three appeared in a different form as “Ezekiel on Fanon’s Couch: a Postcolonialist Dialogue with David Halperin’s Seeking Ezekiel,” in Peace and Justice Shall Embrace, ed. Ted Grimsrud and Loren Johns (Telford: Pandora, 1999) 108–44, a Festschrift for Millard Lind. Finally, elements of chapter six were drawn from chapter six, pages 139 to 152, in my first work on the exile, The Religion of the Landless, albeit in a new context.

I would like to thank Walter Brueggemann for his kind invitation, my editors at Fortress Press, K. C. Hanson and Beth Wright, and copyeditor Gary Lee for their attention to this work despite my delays in making reasonable deadlines. I am grateful to my friend Professor William Schniedewind at ucla who very kindly does not ever mention how much cleverer he is than I and what a better job he could have done with many of these subjects. He kindly read through the manuscript and suggested places where I would be particularly liable to reasoned criticism. That weaknesses in my arguments remain is due to my stubbornness and not to his having missed them.

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.