April 6, 2019—The C. Benton Kline, Jr. Special Collections and Archives is pleased to announce the acquisition of the Walter Brueggemann papers. This collection includes course notes, manuscript drafts, correspondence, and lectures spanning Brueggemann’s career as a theologian and professor. Walter Brueggemann is Columbia Theological Seminary’s William Marcellus McPheeters professor emeritus of Old Testament. Prior to his seventeen years at Columbia Seminary, he served as instructor and academic dean at Eden Seminary from 1961-1986.
In collaboration with Brueggemann and Eden Seminary, thirty-five boxes of material from the Eden archives were transferred to Columbia Seminary in January. These boxes add to the 85 boxes already housed in the C. Benton Kline, Jr. Special Collections and Archives located in the John Bulow Campbell Library at Columbia Seminary. For more information, interested parties may contact the archives via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 404-687-4628.
One of the most influential Old Testament scholars alive today, Brueggemann is the author or contributor for one hundred thirty books and many more scholarly articles. Much of his work focuses on the Hebrew prophetic tradition and sociopolitical imagination of the Church. Brueggemann raises the need for a counter-narrative addressing the dominant cultural forces of consumerism, militarism, and nationalism.
Brueggemann was born on March 11, 1933 in Tilden, Nebraska. He received an A.B. from Elmhurst College (1955), a B.D. from Eden Theological Seminary (1958), and a Th.D. from Union Theological Seminary, New York (1961). While teaching at Eden, he earned a Ph.D. in education at St. Louis University (1974). The son of a minister of the German Evangelical Synod of North America, Brueggemann was ordained in the United Church of Christ.
Brueggemann is an advocate and practitioner of rhetorical criticism. His monumental work, Theology of the Old Testament (1997), is a rhetorical-critical look at the Old Testament through the lenses of “testimony, dispute, and advocacy.” While known for his book The Prophetic Imagination (1978), his best-known work may be The Message of the Psalms (1984) which provides a new way of understanding the Psalms. His most recent book is A Glad Obedience: Why and What We Sing (2019).
He also contributed 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 (later documented in Genesis: A Living Conversation, Main Street Books, 1997).
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Michael Thompson, Director of Communications