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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

The Politics of Pessimism in Ecclesiastes: A Social-Science Perspective
Sneed, Mark R.

Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2012 pp. xvi + 341. $41.95

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Description: 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.

Subjects: Bible, Hebrew Bible / Old Testament, Wisdom Literature, Ecclesiastes/Qoheleth, Literature


Review by Robert Williamson Jr.
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Published 2/2/2013
Citation: Robert Williamson Jr., review of Mark R. Sneed, The Politics of Pessimism in Ecclesiastes: A Social-Science Perspective, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2013).


Review by Martin A. Shields
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Published 6/12/2013
Citation: Martin A. Shields, review of Mark R. Sneed, The Politics of Pessimism in Ecclesiastes: A Social-Science Perspective, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2013).


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