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Exodus and LiberationDeliverance Politics from John Calvin to Martin Luther King Jr.$
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John Coffey

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199334223

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199334223.001.0001

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Introduction “Biblical Traditions that Call for Liberation”

Introduction “Biblical Traditions that Call for Liberation”

(p.xiv) (p.1) Introduction “Biblical Traditions that Call for Liberation”
Exodus and Liberation

John Coffey

Oxford University Press

In one of his first publications, a 1988 essay on community organizing, Barack Obama praised the black church for maintaining “biblical traditions that call for liberation.” This book aims to locate black Exodus politics within the broader history of Protestant “deliverance politics.” Although Christians have read Exodus politically since Eusebius, Reformed Protestants proved especially keen on the Israelite paradigm. This chapter introduces the key biblical texts (including those related to the Year of Jubilee), and engages with two distinct bodies of scholarship inspired by Michael Walzer’s Exodus and Revolution (1985) and the work of liberation theologians. It previews the book’s major themes, including providentialism, and highlights a number of major transitions in the Protestant reception of the Bible’s liberationist texts.

Keywords:   Obama, Exodus, Moses, liberation theology, Hebrew Scripture, Providence

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