The Story of Israel in the Book of Qohelet: Ecclesiastes as Cultural Memory (Oxford Theology and Religion Monographs)

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9780199657827: The Story of Israel in the Book of Qohelet: Ecclesiastes as Cultural Memory (Oxford Theology and Religion Monographs)
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This book is a study of the making of collective memory within early Judaism in a seminal text of the Western canon. The book of Ecclesiastes and its speaker Qohelet are famous for saying that there is 'nothing new under the sun'. In the literary tradition of the modern West this has been taken as the motto of a book that is universal in scope, Greek in its patterns of thought, and floating free from the particularism and historical concerns of the rest of the Bible. Jennie Barbour argues that reading the book as a general compendium in this way causes the reader to miss a strong undercurrent in the text.

'Nothing new under the sun' is, in fact, a historical deduction made by Qohelet on the basis of long-range observation, conducted through his study of his nation's traditions: the first sage to turn from the window to the Book is not Ben Sira, but Qohelet himself. While Ecclesiastes says nothing about the great founding events of Israel's story, it is haunted by the decline and fall of the nation and the Babylonian exile, as the trauma of the loss of the kingdom of Solomon persists through a spectrum of intertextual relationships. The view of Qohelet from the throne in Jerusalem takes in the whole sweep of Israel's remembered historical experiences; Ecclesiastes is revealed as not simply as a piece of marketplace philosophy, but as a learned essay in processing a community's memory, with strong ties to the rest of Jewish and Christian scripture.

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Jennie Barbour is Visiting Assistant Professor of Religion at Amherst College.

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"Jennie Barbour's The Story of Israel in the Book of Qohelet provides a new perspective on the issue of history in Qohelet. ... Barbour...provide[s] an example of the importance of textual allusion and its relevance to reading." --H-Net


"I doubt that anyone can mount a stronger argument for historical memory in Ecclesiastes than [Barbour] has done. She has been well tutored, writes with enviable lucidity, handles linguistic evidence like a seasoned scholar and is informed by cultural theory. ... For me, reading it was a pleasure." --James L. Crenshaw, The Catholic Biblical Quarterly


"[Barbour] has made a unique contribution to the study Ecclesiastes. ... Barbour's book is engaging and will be essential reading for Ecclesiastes research." --Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society


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Book Description Oxford University Press, United Kingdom, 2012. Hardback. Condition: New. Bilingual. Language: English . Brand New Book. This book is a study of the making of collective memory within early Judaism in a seminal text of the Western canon. The book of Ecclesiastes and its speaker Qohelet are famous for saying that there is nothing new under the sun . In the literary tradition of the modern West this has been taken as the motto of a book that is universal in scope, Greek in its patterns of thought, and floating free from the particularism and historical concerns of the rest of the Bible. Jennie Barbour argues that reading the book as a general compendium in this way causes the reader to miss a strong undercurrent in the text. Nothing new under the sun is, in fact, a historical deduction made by Qohelet on the basis of long-range observation, conducted through his study of his nation s traditions: the first sage to turn from the window to the Book is not Ben Sira, but Qohelet himself. While Ecclesiastes says nothing about the great founding events of Israel s story, it is haunted by the decline and fall of the nation and the Babylonian exile, as the trauma of the loss of the kingdom of Solomon persists through a spectrum of intertextual relationships. The view of Qohelet from the throne in Jerusalem takes in the whole sweep of Israel s remembered historical experiences; Ecclesiastes is revealed as not simply as a piece of marketplace philosophy, but as a learned essay in processing a community s memory, with strong ties to the rest of Jewish and Christian scripture. Seller Inventory # AOP9780199657827

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