Haunting Book—Haunted People (Jeremiah 36; Luke 4:16-40)

Walter Brueggemann

Article Type: Article

Publication Date: 1/1/1991

Issue: Death and Resurrection (Vol. 11, No 1, Winter, 1991)

Jeremiah 36 is indeed the only clear account in the Old Testament of how the text came to be. Earlier, there were powerful oral traditions, and later there was canon. But in this text we are at the pivotal moment between oral tradition and settled canon. There is an awesome moment of redefinition. In this awesome moment of text-making, we have the intrusion of heavenly holiness into a region that would so much like to be immune to the haunting. This pivotal invasion happened in the career of the subversive Jeremiah. I shall trace the emergence of this dangerous text in six moments, perhaps the same six moves always enacted when we rehear the text and accept its haunting.

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