Five part video series from Earth Keeper TV:
Biblical scholar and author Dr. Walter Brueggemann
talks in northern Michigan during Oct. 2007
(Marquette, Michigan) – Noted Bible Scholar and prolific author Dr. Brueggemann spoke at Northern Michigan University (NMU) in Marquette and Bethany Lutheran Church in Ishpeming to standing room only crowds of over 500 people on October 8 and 9.
The noted theologian visited Lutheran Campus Ministry near NMU and gave a workshop for clergy at Messiah Lutheran Church in Marquette.
Dr. Brueggemann said historically greed, disregard for the environment and “the violation of the ten commandments will lead to the dismantling of creation.”
An expert and prolific author on the Old Testament, Brueggemann quote numerous biblical verses and described the prophets of the time as “poets” who warned about the greedy abuse of nature because people must “view the environment as God’s gift that requires responsible management.”
Bringing humor and simple explanations to complex scripture, Dr. Brueggemann’s animated translations invoked passion, laughter, and stunned silence that was often punctuated with crescendos, whispers and dramatic gestures like a fist in the air or hands clutching his head.
“Every national security state works itself to destruction – never learning in time the limits to acquisitiveness and giving full rein to satiation,” Brueggemann said Monday night (Oct. 8, 2007) at Northern Michigan University in Marquette.
Dr. Brueggemann’s ecumenical public talks are reflected in his personal life. Brueggemann is a member of the United Church of Christ, teaches at a Presbyterian Seminary, and worships in an Episcopal congregation.
The standing room only crowd clapped when he tied abuse of the environment to the proposed sulfide mine near Lake Superior in Marquette County by stating abused land will not produce in the future.
“What this poet knows is that absentee ownership and agribusiness – and you can extrapolate the word mining – I don’t know much about it but I know that much – will simply refuse to produce when the land becomes a tradeable commodity and is no longer caressed, and honored and treated with its own particular creation magic,” Brueggemann said. “The land requires ownership that is partnership and without such partnership creation loses its interest in fruitfulness.”
In an interview following his talk, Brueggemann said while he doesn’t know the all the details about the proposed sulfide mine he has done “some reading on the crisis of the proposed mining initiative” in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
“It is obviously a case in which the well being of the environment and the well being of the neighborhood are being subordinated to economic interests,” Brueggemann said.
“In the bible, the economy is, according to the Torah, kept subordinated to the well being of the neighborhood,” Brueggemann said. “This seems to me a case in which economic interests want to overpower the concerns of the neighborhood.”
“From the perspective of biblical faith, that is always a loser,” Brueggemann said.
Rev. Warren Geier, pastor of Bethany Lutheran Church in Ishpeming, said in all Dr. Brueggemann’s talks the theologian “highlighted that God’s intention for the world, as articulated in the Ten Commandments, is that we live in relationship with God and with the neighbor.”
This can’t be done without respect and care for the ‘neighborhood’ which is the earth, God’s gift of creation,” said Geier, who organized Brueggemann’s U.P. visit.
Brueggemann “emphasized the need the tell the truth, not to deny reality and pretend things are other than they are,” Geier said.
“This is done in order to get to hope, the realization that there is another way that counters ways that seem unchangeable – to use Dr. Brueggemann’s words: ‘The data on the ground is not the final truth; it’s outflanked by the fidelity of God. There are new gifts to be given’,” Geier said.
The visit by Dr. Brueggemann was co-sponsored by Lutheran Campus Ministry, the interfaith NMU EarthKeeper Student Team, the NMU departments of Philosophy and English, the Northern Great Lakes Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and Bethany Lutheran Church in Ishpeming.
Brueggemann’s visit “was another way we like to continue our (environmental) work and invite other people into our community so that we can learn from them and continue to grow in our knowledge about theology and creation and the environment as well,” said Jennifer Simula, the NMU EK project director and a student leader with NMU Lutheran Campus Ministry.
Understanding the audience was filled with supporters of the environment, Brueggemann said he is “aware of the work of the Earth Keeper’s Covenant and so I already know that you are into these issues” describing his talk “simply as a reinforcement footnote to what all of you have already thought.”
Brueggemann participated in Bill Moyers acclaimed PBS television series on the Book of Genesis. A graduate of Elmhurst College, Professor Brueggemann studied at Eden Theological Seminary, receiving his Doctorate of Divinity from Union theological Seminary, New York, and a Ph.D from Saint Louis University.
Brueggemann was professor of Old Testament at Eden before joining the faculty at Columbia Theological Seminary in 1986. He is currently William Marcellus McPheeters Professor Emeritus of Old Testament at Columbia.
Here is a five-part look at Theologian Dr. Walter Brueggemann’s insight into the Old Testament and the Ten Commandments – followed by a background stories recorded prior to his visit that details some of Dr. Brueggemann’s many accomplishments:
Preview story about Dr. Brueggemann and his many accomplishments:
Earth Keeper TV (Blip TV) Links Parts 1 thru 5:http://blip.tv/file/435636/
Preview stories:http://blip.tv/file/399108/ http://blip.tv/file/414536/
You Tube – EK TV Parts 1 thru 5:
Preview stories on