Time in the Book of Ecclesiastes

Publikation: Bog/antologi/afhandling/rapportBogForskningfagfællebedømt

  • Mette Bundvad
Uniquely within a Hebrew Bible context, the book of Qohelet engages at length with the theme of time, explicitly exploring the temporal situation of humanity. This book offers a detailed analysis of that exploration. It is argued that the narrator of Ecclesiastes, Qohelet, does not depict the temporal processes of the world as a neutral reality. Rather, he describes the temporal order as highly problematic for human attempts to fashion a meaningful existence. This is especially due to the irresolvable tensions that he perceives between the cosmic, temporal reality and the human experience of time. The former is something ongoing, repetitive, and continuous. Conversely, the individual human being’s life is limited in time, with no real connection to either past or future. Mirroring the interest in Qohelet for both, this study discusses the biblical book’s presentation of both the cosmic, temporal structures and the framework of the human past, present, and future. It offers close readings of a series of passages in which the theme of time is especially prominent, thus demonstrating how the discussion of time works in Qohelet and how it interacts with other of the book’s key themes. Of particular importance in this context is the theme of cognition: to what extent are human beings able to understand our temporal conditions and how do such impact our life in the world if we cannot understand them? Finally, this study uses linguistic and anthropological material to discuss the presence of temporal thinking in the Hebrew Bible more generally, arguing that Qohelet’s exploration of time provides an excellent entry point into this broader discussion as well.
Udgivelses stedOxford
ForlagOxford University Press
Antal sider211
ISBN (Trykt)9780198739708
ISBN (Elektronisk)9780191802652
StatusUdgivet - sep. 2015

ID: 160009619