Wisdom Literature in the Hebrew and Greek Bibles (Old Testament)

TH6313, graduate level (exceptional undergraduates who have completed two theology courses may petition the instructor for permission to register)

Fall 2009, Thursday, 6:30-9:15 PM, taught mostly on the St. Mary's campus (San Antonio), also available at distance learning sites and online


Can a loving creator be found in hostile creation? Can a divine justice be found through the experience of injustice? Can we learn to think or act in such a way as to find meaning in the riddle of our existence? The ancients struggled with these timeless questions and attempted a variety of answers. Their poetry and sayings have been preserved and passed down through the centuries by Jews and Christians in the books of Proverbs, Job, Ecclesiastes, Sirach, the Wisdom of Solomon, and others categorized as "Wisdom Literature." This course addresses the ancient thoughts in their literary and social contexts, with critical reflection on how they speak to our own contexts.

Required texts:

Recommended texts:

Prerequisites: Students are expected to have a general knowledge of the Hebrew Bible prior to the course. Students should read John J. Collins, A Short Introduction to the Hebrew Bible. Minneapolis: Fortress, 2007. (LINK) (a non-short version is also available).