What does it mean to be wise? How does the Bible understand wisdom as a revelation of God? How might suffering, anomie, and meaninglessness help us grow in our grasp of God's desire for the world and human community? Our focus will be primarily the books of Proverbs, Qohelet (Ecclesiastes) and Job (with an occasional glance at other parts of the biblical traditions) as the classic exemplars of the wisdom tradition of ancient Israel. We will consider cross cultural questions about ancient Near Eastern Wisdom, the evolution of the wisdom tradition, the figure of Sophia, and contemporary responses to the wisdom literature. How might wisdom literature be useful in pastoral and other ministry settings?
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