Review of Interrupted Silence by Walter Brueggemann – Notes on the book

Silence is a common matter – could be:
Talk about Kings (MLK) opposition to the Vietnam war
in 1967
linking war to z racial crisis
thoughts of public opinion
issue for the sustainability opposition to the war
King broke the silence
Talk of the “new world”
church doctrine
have discovered that we should not be silent
example was Jesus parable in Like 18:1-8
disrupt power and wealth
many opinions are needed for a democracy
voter repression 😦
issues to silence the crowd
Negative silence breakers
far right political leader in Netherlands
lost reelection in March 2017
He states “Regardless of the verdict, no one will be able to silenc me”
Another example is flag burning
Sir Donald doesn’t like this unwelcome speech
this creates the risk toward fascism dominated by a single voice
Breaking the silence
can be done by polite prayer to break silence
As in Luke 1 “to pray always. and not to lose heart”
how do politics relate to the prayer
Are we living is a society/country/world that is drifting towards fascism?
do we want to keep the status qui?
Talk of Charles Chauncey sermon in 1742 talking about “A Caveat against Enthusiasm” that was written by Hyde.
Hyde goes on to say that such talk in the church, dominated by “abstraction of symbols” in theology, is deeply linked to the abstract symbols of “cash”, thus linking abstract theology that silences to the reduction of life ti commoditization and management of money
Silence is broke with the attention to the body in pain.
The body knows that silence kills
could be restored by following a new political position.
p. 7


p. 8
The Oppressed Break Silence – chapter 1
The Israelites called for help from God once out of slavery (Exodus 2:23
Movement from slavery to emancipated possibilities started in the book of Exodus and is continuing today.
It was thought that the Pharaoh in invested with absolutely everything, having absolute authority
He is ready to exploit cheap labor
He imposes greater demands on the slave force
does not have awareness
He uses some type of political leverage
p. 10
on his death:
once absolute was not
had the fear of greed
had a vulnerable labor force
The claim of Pharaoh in .exodus was a charade
this process is unsustainable
nothing is absolute as claimed by the regime
Once the Paraoh dies, here come Isreal
slave community is called Hebrews
vulnerable outsider population
or last hired and the first fired
not legitimate members in society
The Hebrews were coined “the Israelite”
They all came from Father Abraham
risk of walking in the wilderness of abundance
searching for the promised land
Egyptians could not even eat with the /hebrews
it was an abomination
In Exodus 2:23 “they groaned under slavery:
the old Pharaoh was friendly
story changed with new Pharaoh
Pharaoh had a food monopoly
debt turned into economic greed
Story of brick making
brick making is also coined “hard labor”
become permanently indebted
this is the design of the system
example was written about Pakistan
people don’t earn enough to leave
some sell their kidneys in organ trade
Exodus 5:20-21 talks about the silence of slaves
every day of work made them deeper in debt??? (don’t understand)
The slaves despair led them to silence
The Slaves Groaned
Pharaohs death was a pivot moment in the biblicalneeed story
Hebrews become Israelites
no more left=behind people
need to be on the moment of coming to consciousness
p. 16
The Israelites brought their pain to speech
only one way with Pharaoh (absolute)
Small doors have been opened even in todays words with:

Pharaoh did not care that the slaves suffered
part of economic failure?

God Heard

P. 23
Prophets Refuse to be silent – Chapter 2
Jerusalem became:
labor explloiting
The city split after King David and son Solomon
The temple was the center for media attention
The Prophetic Poets
where they prophets?
did not follow approved dialogue from leaders
spoke as the “old” Ten Commandments were in effect (well aren’t they?)
these commandments would determine the future of society.
good vs. evil
people thought of a bottomless guarantee of well-being and security
more talk of surplus wealth
Poets judged taxation, labor , and surplus wealth
is it against the will of the conventional God?
Amos Was judged by poets as being anti-neighborly
also a defiance to God
don’t want to contradict Gods will
P. 26
The Prophetic Challenge
History shows that ancient Israel went to great pains to silence such “dangerous” poets
Was the prophet Jeremiah a traitor?
thus the prophets were killed as enemies of the regime
goes back talking about the wealthy?
was an unwelcome poetic interrupter
liked: “Thus says the Lord”
sorting out names
Israelites are descendants of Jacob
Israel splits into two nations
Northern kingdom
prophets were
Southern kingdom
Prophets were
Jerusalem is a city in Judah
Also called Zion
Cannon is the land of occupation
Amos sees the political-economic life in northern Israel to be contradicted to the will of YHWH (God)
thus the royal state can have no viable future.
Was Amos committing treason (viewed by priests)
Amos was banished from the temple by the King’
land of northern Israel
Why did they say “never again prophesy at Bethel
he must be silence because eof his dangerous utterance
Thus, the temple belongs to the King and his interests
does it mean “no truth telling”
is our church a chapel for the synid?
Is there only one way to go?
a tent maker poet
words for “bread”
he is under assignment from the Lord
he utters a poem of refusal to be silent
Gave the standards (trial) of being banished
Amos had a deportation to a strange land
more talk about:
bad labor policy
surplus wealth
p. 35

p. 36
Silence Kills – Chapter 3
The author state “we need
reliance of God
confidence in God’s goodness
Gave 7 palms: 6, 32, 38, 51, 102, 130, and 143
these were critical for Martin Lither insight
full of grace
Plasms 32
concerning guilt
a personal decision for repression
I Kept Silence
Why did the speaker keep silent
awareness of sin?
his own life
Is silence because of social shame
peer pressure
social expectations
Silence could mean (staying away from)
fear of God
because of moral insensibility
“It is too embarrassing to name and own one;s deep failings; as long as they are unvoiced, we may be allowed to pretend it is not so”.
Silence Kills
Our bodies suffer in ways we eventually notice when they must become the carriers of such denial. and deception
it is the sound of the body that finds ways to make its own sound of protest and pain
are body movements God’s doing?
p. 39
I will Confess; I will not Cover up
Psalm 32:5
It seems that the speaker is breaking this silence (don’t understand) talk about following first-person????
It’s thought that the silence was broken was worse than the guilt or alienation of keeping it within.
Big question: what is sin?
Are we always supposed to be honest before God?
Are we loooking for a pardon from God u=in the hopes of salvation?
suck it up
gut out the guilt
decide to speak out
truth must be spoken
says that God is ready to forgive
attention turned for “I” to you”
God, The Faithful Listener
The key insight is that honest talk transforms and emancipates when it is received in faithful seriousness.
p. 42
what’s the pastoral care movement?
has a theological reality been transposed to a psychological transaction?
Testimony, Pedagogy, Doxology
transition from silence to speech
three responses to the Psalm
wonder of the transition from silence to speech
doxology (praise)
practical theology?
“the way”
What’s the deal? “those who have broken the silence, and come face-to-face with the generous, faithful /god live unencumbered live”
these people shout for joy
These people are not dried up

p. 46
Jesus Rudely Interrupted -Chapter 4
was in Jew country
with farmers
the Roman empire
Jesus was with his “own” type of people
Mark 6:30-44 similar to Exodus 16:13-21
p. 47
feeding the five thousand compared to the bread from Heaven
asked for by Mosses
the lord heard their complaining (Israelites)
the bread had worms that weren’t collected
remember the sabbath
some looked on the sabbath and found no bread
they at mana for forty years
talk of purity?
In Mark 6, anon-Jew showed Jesus hospitality
she then spoke about her possed daughter
Who should get food first?
children first
crumbs go to the dogs
Symboltic allusion is clear:
the children are the Jews
the dogs are the “others”
Jesus is Challenged
This hospitable woman;
tells otherwise
w/there were some reeducation of Jesus?????
What Would Jesus Do
he has no ministry to the dogs
verse 29 end comment
In Mark 8:1-10:
p. 53
another feeding miracle
seven loaves seven baskets!
seven baskets-seven nations’
Jesus is there to fill the people with “food” from /gods regime
12 baskets of bread for the 12 tribes of /israel
are children “the ones chosen?”
Silence Protects Privilege
from Jewish feeding Mark 6:30-44 to the Gentile feeding Mark 8:1-10
Is there a debate between Paul and “this” woman
Israel purity codes
“what God has made clean, you must not call profane
Peter acknowledges that God shows no partiality
Jesus experienced that his own people were deprivileged
Consensus always protect privilege
Good thing seem to happen when the silence is broken

Casting Out Silence – chapter 5
p. 58
Refer to Mark 9:14-29 where you have a contrast between the power of silence and the power of speech.
done through the body of a boy
the boy has been silent
The Cast
Consists of:
the boy
seeking help
the crowd
only witnesses
overecomed and awed
the disciples
front and center in narrative
was questionable about Jesus??
couldn’t deal with the spirit
their lack of faith
Jesus rebukes them for their lack of faith, he was provoked to talk about the faithless generation
the scribes
appears only for an
are argueing
was here to supervise
the venue of the contest
p. 60
Jesus silences the Demon
was Jesus the “real doctor”
faith to bring the boy to sppech
unfaith of the disciples
“have pity on us…and HELP US!”
Jesus masters the destructive spirit
all can be done for the one who believes
Jesus says:
for mortals it is impossible, but not for God
for God all things are possible (Mark 10:27)
possibilities is for the person of faith
is it only from God?
Ref: (Gen 18)
for this to happen, God must be at work
Jesus tells the spirit “come out of him, and never enter him again!”
The boy was healed and freed
Jesus can restore
We don’t know if the boy can speak
he is raised up as like Easter
Who Caused this?
What caused this “issue” for the boy?
his muteness?
reduced in the U.S. society???????????????????
white racism
discrimination of colored people
sees themselves as less than fully first-clas human persons
could not benefit from American capitalism
what does “this boy” mean to colored people
is he ruthlessly reduced to silence
by power?
Was his father like MLK?
The Need To Believe
Is Prayer a refusal to settle for what is
an act of hope
Jesus say “and fasting” Verse 28….In Mark
More talk about bread
yeast of Pharisees and Herod
the “one loaf”
being nourished by the broken bread of life
Being “defiled”
robbed of distinct identity
Jesus Breaks Silence
did Jesus distance himself from Rome by fasting?
the boy can now stand
not immobilized by feae
no longer powerless
Jesus though disciples could share in emancipatory actions????
Does this boy represent the power of being forced to be silent?
Thus, Jesus breaks the silence.

The Crowd As Silencer – Chapter 6
blind man begging for food

crowds were attracted to Jesus because of his works
Bartimaeus knew of Jesus with his “power”
So he sought Jesus out
he was a helpless man
depending on generosity from others
he wanted restoration and rehabilitation
He tells Jesus to “have mercy on me!”
was hoping for attention for /gods healing capacity
The Crowd as Silencers
Jesus has a big crowd while ineracting with Bartimaeus
many of th crowd ordered him the quiet
we are not told why the crowd ordered the blind man to be silent
was it to protect Jesus?
Then the crowd was mobilized for silence
it was the same crowd where the judge needed people permission to release Jesus
was silence a political consequence?
Jesus also “stirred up” the crowd
In the scene above, the crowd wanted Jesus permanently silenced
Bartimaeus Persists
Jesus did not hear him because of the crowd
2nd attempt: “son of David, have mercy on me”
he was honest, even “raw”
used a louder voice
Jesus Calls, Bartimaeus Jumps
his loud cry caught the attention of Jesus
The call verb was explained
Is the blind man being recruited for the Jesus movement
Bartimaeus was lost in the crowds shuffle
Story of “do not quit”
hw is hoping for healing and restitution
He trusts that Jesus is the Lord of mercy
the crowd did not want Bartimaeus to miss the opportunity of Jesus
he had to make the first move!
Sight Is Restored
he had to verbalize his need
he even expected to be healed
“My teacher, let me see again”
he is breaking the silence with Jesus
Jesus says “call him here”
coming to Jesus helps his sight….HMMMMMM
he continued being poor, but was following Jesus
Transformative Mercy
being included in new company – restoration
Jesus only responded when he called out loudly
Almsgiving leading to salvation in the early church
or was this store up treasures in heaven?
Bartimaeus sought restoration…not alms
ref to New Testament (Acts 3:10),,,what he has he will give you
Is this saying we don’t need money, just the restoration of following Jesus
Alms giving might sustain the beggar when silence is never broken
Thus, the way to restoration is to break the silence
Jesus, the great silence breaker, “broke the silence to offer new life”.

Truth Speaks to Power – Chapter 7
p. 84
should always be praying
does the Lord’s prayer make us dependent of God for life in the world?
the Father will give the Holy Spirit to those who ask
A prayer is simply asking
is prayer courageous?
😦 “the act of prayer is itself an act of resistance against discouragement and defeat
we need to rely on Gods obedience to sustain a good life
The Judge and the Widow
this Judge didn’t fear God, or care for his people
Was the judge a stand-in for God?
So, was God indifferent and unresponsive
the widow is resource less
how was the woman victimized?
being active in transactions will fend off despair
Breaking the Silence of Conformity
3 parts to ordeal
the widow “asks for justice”
others thought she wouldn’t speak
entitlement? WHAT
she kept coming to see the judge
she was nagging her case
she filed claims continuously
the judge was unresponsive to her bid
To much for the judge to bear (so she gets justice)
Wear God Out in Prayer
Do we want to wear God out, just like the widow, in prayer?
;( it reads that God will grant justice for those continueong to persist
there will not be any long delay for helping
remember “don’t lose heart”
p. 89
think of the bodily truth of the widow
Does power have to answer to truth?
In the case of the widow, faith came from seeking the Judge
to fight back on her injustice
Is prayer an active quest for justice
Is the Lords Prayer a jubilee prayer that od’s jubilee will be coming soon
call for the forgiveness of debts
care for the “left behind” and people with debts
some people need debt cancellation make societal future possible
Luke Echoes the Elisha Story
the parable come in memory of Elijah and Elisha
Elisha had ministered to wealth women
had lost her property after being away for 7 years
se even restored “the dead son”
calls out for her lost property
The King then restores all her property (2Kgs 8:6)
its Jubilee for the woman
the woman seeks justice and restoration
Thus, the powerful (Judge & King) didn’t need to heed the truth from either woman, but result were found by praying always,

The Church as a Silencing Institution -chapter 8
P. 97
from 1 Cor. 14:33-35
“….For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church”.
also in 1 Tim 2:12…learn in silence
other texts (see Titus 2:15, 2 Peter 3:1
Gender Equity in Paul’s Community’
all of us are one in Christ
our oneness in Christ
Paul has no limits for women in churches
Paul was committed to gender equity
Along with Jews and Gentiles
What Happens?
need to practice practical outworking’
Silence is Alive and Well Today
still struggles for woman in the church
women empowerment in church
woman protesting at the wailing wall
is the church a body of silence?
pope Francis says the ordination of woman 2016) would be prohibited forever)
the spirit might blow in other directions
churches like to use the “cheap” woman’s labor
progressive – “All are welcome”
does this mean we need to return to the core claims in the Gospel
Challenge Originalism
talked about Justice Anthony Scali
rereading the text with imagination, courage, and freedom
woman had the “re” factor
Is God still speaking?
The Spirit won’t be silent