The Politics of Pessimism in Ecclesiastes

The Politics of Pessimism in Ecclesiastes

A Social-science Perspective

eBook - 2012
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Society of Biblical Literature
Scholars attempt to resolve the problem of the book of Ecclesiastes' heterodox character in one of two ways, either explaining away the book's disturbing qualities or radicalizing and championing it as a precursor of modern existentialism. This volume offers an interpretation of Ecclesiastes that both acknowledges the unorthodox nature of Qoheleth's words and accounts for its acceptance among the canonical books of the Hebrew Bible. It argues that, instead of being the most secular and modern of biblical books, Ecclesiastes is perhaps one of the most religious and primitive. Bringing a Weberian approach to Ecclesiastes, it represents a paradigm of the application of a social-science methodology.

Book News
In a heavily revised version of his 1990 doctoral dissertation at Drew University, Sneed (Bible, Lubbock Christian U.) explores what he calls the strangest book in the Bible: English Ecclesiastes, Hebrew Qohelet, or Preacher. He looks at its heterodox character, its sociohistorical context, the audience's social location, synchronic literary analysis, the problem of evil and cognitive dissonance, the irrational response to the (over-)rationalization of traditional wisdom, the positive power of the book's pessimism, and the sociology of its canonicity. Annotation ©2012 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Publisher: Atlanta : Society of Biblical Literature, ©2012
ISBN: 9781589836358
Characteristics: data file,rda
1 online resource (vii, 341 pages)


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