Theme Of Violence In Walter Bueggemann's The Prophetic Imagination

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When people think heavily about the future they begin to fear their own limits and they are more likely to resort to violence. The alternative to violence, which both Breuggemann and Yoder advocate for, requires people to face their fears about the uncertainty of the future. In Walter Brueggemann’s book, The Prophetic Imagination, Brueggemann included the Biblical story of Moses to offer historical perspective as well as illustrate one of the first acts of the alternative community. The pharaoh’s Egyptian empire was oppressive by nature but through the Exodus, Moses was able to lead his people out of oppression and into freedom. Moses’s radicalism recognized the system as problematic and he was able to acknowledge the limitations it had. …show more content…
Both Pharaoh and Solomon were afraid to admit their impermanence and their fear of temporality influenced their ability to act rationally and peacefully. Brueggemann’s philosophy on the numbness that surrounds the royal consciousness is encapsulated by his beliefs on the notion of forever: “It is unthinkable for the king to imagine or experience the end of his favorite historical arrangements, for they have become fully identified with his own person” (42). Loss of power, or simply the threat of it, is seen as a sign of weakness, which provokes nations to go to war or resort to violent oppressive ways in order to maintain their status and control. The end of something suggests that humans are not actually in charge, and are subject to …show more content…
Violence stems from the fear of losing control along with a sense of uncertainty about the future and maintaining power. In today’s society, acts of police brutality are far higher with regard to members of minority races. Therefore a world based on equality represents the death of old societies and prevents people from benefiting at the expense of the exploited. In Leo Tolstoy’s response to pacifism and nonviolence, he states “Excuses can be made for every use of violence, and no infallible standard has ever been discovered by which to measure the worth of these excuse” (What would you do? 49). Tolstoy believes that in keeping with Christian teachings, there is no reason to resort to violence as a means to achieve an end.
The use of violence on anyone, regardless of race is conflicting with the teachings of Jesus. Acts of any brutality go against the Christian teaching, and the disproportionate issues regarding race mirror forms of oppression similar to oppressive Biblical empires. There is hypocrisy in a nation where the vast majority of congressmen and politicians claim to be Christian, but the laws and regulations advocate for and accepted violence. Society has become accustomed to violence as the best manner to ensure the numbness remains, and disregards the teachings if Jesus about

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