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The Wisdom of Jonah: Biblical Interpretation in Late Antiquity

Sonek, Kris (2019) The Wisdom of Jonah: Biblical Interpretation in Late Antiquity. In: The Exegetical and the Ethical: The Bible and the Academy in the Public Square. Brill, Leiden, pp. 1-21. ISBN not known yet (In Press)

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Abstract

The book of Jonah is not only a treasure trove of theological and literary delights, but also a subject of ongoing controversy. The influence of post-exilic wisdom traditions on this prophetic book is debated by modern scholars aware of an affinity between the book’s major themes and concepts attributed to ancient Jewish wisdom circles. However, when the book leaves its original historical and cultural milieu and is reinterpreted by readers belonging to the three major monotheistic religions in late antiquity, the sapiential themes of the book of Jonah become prominent. Exegesis in late antiquity exhibits strong didactic and ethical characteristics. Interpreting biblical books leads to theological reflection, which, in turn, helps an understanding of the mysteries of the universe as well as the role and duties of human beings. For Jews, Christians, and Muslims, the book of Jonah resists the rigid taxonomy of literary genre. A study of representative rabbinic, patristic, and Islamic works shows that their authors allow the wisdom themes of the book to resurface and flourish. The tale of the maverick prophet Jonah becomes the story of an ancient sage.

Item Type: Book Chapters
Repository Version: Author's Final Manuscript
Keywords: Jonah, wisdom, reception history, late antiquity, rabbinic theology, patristic theology, Islamic theology, exegesis and ethics
Fields of Research: 22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2204 Religion and Religious Studies > 220401 Christian Studies (incl. Biblical Studies and Church History)
22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2204 Religion and Religious Studies > 220403 Islamic Studies
22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2204 Religion and Religious Studies > 220404 Jewish Studies
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970122 Expanding Knowledge in Philosophy and Religious Studies
Type of Activity: Pure Basic Research
Subjects: B - Biblical Studies, general
B - Old Testament
A - World Religions
College/Association with University of Divinity: CTC: Catholic Theological College
Depositing User: Dr K P Sonek
Date Deposited: 07 May 2019 06:06
Last Modified: 23 Aug 2019 01:12
URI: http://repository.divinity.edu.au/id/eprint/3654

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