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Toward an Interpretation of Proverbs Selfishness and Secularity Reconsidered

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ISBN 10: 1575067072 / ISBN 13: 9781575067070
Published by Eisenbrauns
New Condition: New Softcover/Paperback
From Scholar's Source (Warsaw, IN, U.S.A.)

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Major religious themes of the Bible, such as election and covenant, are not mentioned in the book of Proverbs. Furthermore, self-interest underlies its motivational system (?you shall behave well, because it will be good for you?). These ?selfish? and ?secular? features have posed serious ethical and theological challenges for some interpreters, while others have claimed that their presence is only in the eyes of the beholder.After a thorough investigation of the history of Proverbs' interpretation in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Zoltán Schwáb argues that its self-interested and secular nature should not be simply affirmed or dismissed. The question is not whether Proverbs is selfish and secular but in what ways it is selfish and secular and within what conceptual framework one is supposed to interpret these characteristics. In order to construct a proper framework, Schwáb uses such diverse sources as Thomas Aquinas' theological ethics, modern secularization theories, ancient Near Eastern temple ideology, and the theological tradition of God's incomprehensibility. The result is a reading that simultaneously reflects on the ancient context of the text and the concerns of its readers in a secular world. Bookseller Inventory # SCHTOWARD

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Title: Toward an Interpretation of Proverbs ...

Publisher: Eisenbrauns

Binding: Softcover/Paperback

Book Condition:New

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Major religious themes of the Bible, such as election and covenant, are not mentioned in the book of Proverbs. Furthermore, self-interest underlies its motivational system ( you shall behave well, because it will be good for you ). These selfish and secular features have posed serious ethical and theological challenges for some interpreters, while others have claimed that their presence is only in the eyes of the beholder.


After a thorough investigation of the history of Proverbs interpretation in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Zoltán Schwáb argues that its self-interested and secular nature should not be simply affirmed or dismissed. The question is not whether Proverbs is selfish and secular but in what ways it is selfish and secular and within what conceptual framework one is supposed to interpret these characteristics. In order to construct a proper framework, Schwáb uses such diverse sources as Thomas Aquinas theological ethics, modern secularization theories, ancient Near Eastern temple ideology, and the theological tradition of God s incomprehensibility. The result is a reading that simultaneously reflects on the ancient context of the text and the concerns of its readers in a secular world.

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