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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

Friendship and Virtue Ethics in the Book of Job
Vesely, Patricia

Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019 pp. vii + 288. $99.99

Description: For classical philosophers, friendship was a serious topic of ethical reflection, yet in contemporary discussions on ethics, this subject is largely absent. Drawing upon Aristotelian ethics based on virtue, Patricia Vesely examines friendship as a moral category in the Book of Job, illuminating those virtues, motivations, and perceptions that this relationship entails. She argues that for Job, the virtues of loyalty, compassion, courage, humility, honesty, hospitality, and practical wisdom are essential to a relationship of friendship. These traits of character are most fully embodied in actions of advocacy. In addition to a detailed examination of friendship in the Book of Job, Vesely addresses topics such as the contribution of virtue to human flourishing, the role of tragic literature in moral formation, friendship in Hellenistic and biblical contexts, and ethics in heroic societies. Her book brings together topics spanning philosophy, ethics, and biblical studies, yielding a work that will appeal to a broad range of audiences.

Subjects: Bible, Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Wisdom Literature, Job, Literature, Methods, Historical Approaches, History, Greco-Roman Period, Literary Approaches, Theological Approaches, Ethics

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Review by Lance Hawley
Published 2/20/2020
Citation: Lance Hawley, review of Patricia Vesely, Friendship and Virtue Ethics in the Book of Job, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2020).


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