Proverbs and Ecclesiastes, by Amy Plantinga Pauw

March 30, 2015

These two biblical books may be “loose cannons in the canon,” but Pauw makes a case for how they are as relevant now as ever. The sages of Israel demonstrated an openness to learning from the wisdom traditions of their neighbors, an example from which we can learn, given the religious pluralism that marks our time. These books speak from a creation perspective rather than a redemption one, which is relevant in light of the ecological crises we face. These books—especially Ecclesiastes—have a tendency to speak to people on the margins of the religious community, and both speak about the problems of daily life. This is a theological commentary, and Pauw admits her fondness for Augustine, Kier­kegaard, and the Niebuhr brothers, who expose the follies of human existence.