A Time to Tear Down and a Time to Build Up: A Rereading of Ecclesiastes

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Pervaded as it is with pessimism, paradox, and a multitude of contradictions, Ecclesiastes has long been one of the most difficult books of the Bible to understand. As this study demonstrates, however, it is precisely these contradictions that make Ecclesiastes so meaningful and so powerfully relevant to life in the world. By looking carefully at the language and thought of Ecclesiastes, as well as at its uses of contradictions in probing the meaning of life, Fox confronts the problems that have confounded interpretation of this biblical book. He shows that by using contradiction to tear down holistic claims of meaning and purpose in the world and rebuilding meaning in a local, restricted sense instead, the author of Ecclesiastes shapes a bold, honest-and ultimately uplifting-vision of life. Based on solid scholarly insight yet readable by all, Fox's work provides some of the best commentary available on this challenging section of Scripture.

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Michael V. Fox is the Weinstein-Bascom Professor in Jewish Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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ISBN 10:  1608994961 ISBN 13:  9781608994960
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