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Ice Axes for Frozen Seas
A Biblical Theology of Provocation

By Walter Brueggemann Edited by Davis Hankins

Ice Axes for Frozen Seas
Hardback, 430 pages $59.95
Published: 15th September 2014
ISBN: 9781481302180
Format: 9in x 6in

Subjects: All Theology

Endlessly cunning, elusive, and playful—the Bible consistently unsettles even as it assures. Walter Brueggemann reveals exactly how Scripture exposes the inadequacy of the assumptions and habits that shape our lives. He finds inside Israel’s ancient poetry, prophecy, narrative, and legal covenants new words that create new peoples. In so doing this book provokes a theology of transformation—one that compels new social, economic, and political practices. Brueggemann’s reading reveals that we are not fated to live a life of greed, anxiety, and violence, but instead can embrace a shared life of well-being grounded in an investment in the common good. Brueggemann shows the endless ways by which the Bible provokes new life for transformed peoples. 

Introduction by Davis Hankins                                                            

Part 1: Poetic Cadences that Create Hope                                                       

1.         Conflicted Human Agency                                                      

2.         Conflicted Divine Agency                                                       

3.         Misbegotten Hope                                                                   

4.         Poems vs. Memos                                                                   

5.         Biblical Language                                                                    

Part 2: Narrative Complexities that Challenge                                    

6.         Food Fight                                                                              

7.         Departure without Arrival                                                       

8.         The Nightmare of Amnesia                                                     

9.         The Antidote to Amnesia                                                       

10.       Double Agency                                                            

Part 3: Legal Covenants that Coalesce                                                

11.       From Narrative to Policy                                                        

12.       The God Who Gives Rest                                                        

13.       Covenantal Risks and Rewards                                     

Part 4: Imaginative Provocations that Compel                                               

14.       Testimony                                                                              

15.       Obedience                                                                               

16.       Slow Wisdom                                                                          

17.       Bail Out                                                                                  

18.       Jubilee                                                                                     


"Brueggemann’s interpretations are compelling, whether he is illuminating Joseph’s role in enforcing an oppressive policy of scarcity and monopoly (‘Food Fight’), Solomon’s commodity system of wealth, power, and wisdom (‘Covenantal Risks and Rewards’), or similarities between Moses, Jesus, and Martin Luther King, Jr. (‘Obedience’)."

—Bryan D. Bibb, Interpretation: Journal of Bible and Theology

“Provocative indeed! These essays are most compelling and would be appropriate for biblical studies in theological schools, readings for church study groups, and rich resources for preaching.”

—Richard Horsley, Distinguished Professor of Liberal Arts and the Study of Religion, University of Massachusetts, Boston

"One of the strengths of Brueggemann’s writing is the way in which it encourages readers to view the contemporary landscape through the lens of the Bible’s rhetorical world...While those who follow Brueggemann’s work closely will find many familiar themes in its pages, Hankins’ introduction offers new analysis of the philosophical and sociopolitical context of writings that have profoundly influenced biblical theology."

—Anne W. Stewart, Princeton Theological Seminary, Horizons in Biblical Theology

"Ice Axes for Frozen Seas is a gift for scholars, pastors, and anyone seeking biblical grounding for faith in troubled times. The book is a river of vibrant, poetic language that evokes, provokes, and enacts theologies of biblical texts."

—Kathleen M. O’Connor, William Marcellus McPheeters Professor of Old Testament, Emerita, Columbia Theological Seminary

“This rich collection of lectures and essays written between 2008-2012 shows Walter Brueggemann at his most incisive—theologically, politically, and rhetorically. An added bonus is Davis Hankins' trenchant introduction, the most sophisticated treatment yet of Brueggemann's work as a whole.”

—William P. Brown, William Marcellus McPheeters Professor of Old Testament, Columbia Theological Seminary

“Without question, Ice Axes for Frozen Seas offers a scintillating array of essays from the perennially engaging mind of Walter Brueggemann. The expositions and challenges presented here will make any Bible student rethink a wide range of assumed interpretations. The book is thus well-suited to the needs of pastors and theological students, and really anyone who seeks to approach the Bible thoughtfully.”

—Michael E. Littell, South Dayton Presbyterian Church, Themelios

“…the greatest gift of Ice Axes for Frozen Seas is its regard for the difficulty of the Old Testament…the very quality that keeps the Bible generative and relevant for our world today.”

—Cameron B. R. Howard, Luther Seminary, Word & World

"Ice Axes for Frozen Seas demonstrates that, decades into a prophetic vocation, Walter Brueggemann remains no less challenging for the Western Church and no less an essential voice."

—Marcus A. Hong, Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton Theological Review

Walter Brueggemann is William Marcellus McPheeters Professor of Old Testament Emeritus at Columbia Theological Seminary. 

Davis Hankins is Lecturer in the Department of Philosophy and Religion at Appalachian State University. 

Publication Details:

 Hardback , 430 pages
 9in x 6in

  REL006090, REL006210, REL067000
 Baylor University Press

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