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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

Reanimating Qoheletís Contradictory Voices: Studies of Open-Ended Discourse on Wisdom in Ecclesiastes
Kim, Jimyung

Leiden: Brill, 2018 pp. xiv + 242. $119.00

Series Information
Biblical Interpretation Series, 166

Description: Ecclesiastes, also known as Qohelet, is a fascinating text filled with intriguing contradictions, such as wisdomís beneficial consequences, Godís justice, and wisdomís superiority over pleasure. Under the paradigm of modernism, the contradictions in the book have been regarded as problems to be harmonized or explained away. In Reanimating Qoheletís Contradictory Voices, Jimyung Kim, drawing on Mikhail Bakhtinís insights, offers an alternative reading that embraces the contradictions as they stand. For Kim, Qoheletís or the protagonistís contradictory consciousness is dialogically constructed by his contact with a complex web of discourses. Instead of harmonizing them or explaining them away, Kim identifies various dialogic voices available to Qohelet and demonstrates how those voices constitute Qoheletís contradictory utterances and construct his unfinalizable identity.

Subjects: Bible, Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Wisdom Literature, Ecclesiastes/Qoheleth, Literature, Methods, Literary Approaches, Postmodern Literary Criticism, Ideological Critique

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Review by Douglas B. Miller
Published 1/2/2020
Citation: Douglas B. Miller, review of Jimyung Kim, Reanimating Qoheletís Contradictory Voices: Studies of Open-Ended Discourse on Wisdom in Ecclesiastes, Review of Biblical Literature [] (2020).

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