Exodus Walzer, Michael. Exodus and Research Proposal

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Walzer ends his book with a call to reuse the narrative once more as a call to social liberations, much as it was used in the old African-American spiritual and Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech, ultimately putting for the a vision of socially transforming politics where individuals constantly remember the value of their freedom and the need to honor the covenantal obligation of acting justly in the world. In short, Walzer seems calls for a kind of secular shining city on the hill, unlike the Puritans or Messianic Zionists, taking the best from reinterpretations of Exodus narratives of liberation from the past.

But why strive to reclaim the Exodus narrative at all in modernity? The many interpretations of the story suggest that the story has been reinterpreted so many times; it has become all things to all people, inclusive to Walzer, exclusive to another.
And it is easy to respond to Walzer's vision that part of the appeal of Exodus is its particularlism that defines and is so vital to many communities, one reasons that memories of "oppression, deliverance, Sinai, and Canaan are still with us, powerful memories shaping our perception of the political world" fuel the fires of nationalism in so many communities (Walzer 149). Despite secular forms of Zionism, will Exodus 'work' and will a covenant seem appealing without a sense of exclusiveness and exceptionalism, as exemplified in the Puritans? Walzer's book is interesting, inspiring in parts, but its audience is unclear and ultimately those readers seeking historical or political knowledge about how specific groups have used the Exodus narrative in the Middle East and elsewhere, or in-depth Biblical exegesis in general should look elsewhere -- as may individuals seeking a real program and prescription for secular liberation….....

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