What was especially fascinating was that while the books Professors Brueggemann and Sharp pinpointed were the same, they had different rationales for choosing Jeremiah. For Professor Brueggemann, Jeremiah “reads him” because the centrality of anguish speaks to him. “Anyone who is not in anguish about what’s happening to us [in America] should read the book of Jeremiah.” For Professor Sharp, by contrast, Jeremiah’s appeal is not in its anguish or its vitriol, but in the multiple strata of the text, a witness to the “struggle to claim the prophetic voice” by those who followed Jeremiah.
It’s a clear and crisp morning here in Fort Washington, Pennsylvania. I’m on site at St. Thomas’ Church for an exciting Biblical Studies conference entitled “Making Sense of the God of the Old Testament.” For the next two days, I’ll be checking in on Covenant with some “Conference Notes,” including excerpts from interviews with Old Testament Professors Walter Brueggemann, Pete Enns, and Carolyn Sharp, as well as my host, Fr. Marek Zabriskie, rector of St. Thomas’ and founder of the Center Biblical Studies (CBS).