The introduction sets this study in the context of the three recent critical approaches it combines: (1) “metacritical” studies of biblical criticism that identify and critically analyze the “historically effected consciousness” that inspired a particular approach to biblical interpretation; (2) “biographies” of texts that examine their origins and effects; and (3) “end- of” books, which, following the lead of Fukuyama’s “The End of History?” (1989), argue, among other things, that old concepts may fade away as perceptions change. The role of genre methodology in perpetuating the Wisdom Literature category and now in challenging it is introduced. Finally, terminological distinctions are made between the Wisdom Literature category and Wisdom as a genre, the Wisdom Schools associated with it, and wisdom as a concept.
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