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An Obituary for "Wisdom Literature"The Birth, Death, and Intertextual Reintegration of a Biblical Corpus$
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Will Kynes

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198777373

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198777373.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 17 January 2022

The Birth of Wisdom Literature

The Birth of Wisdom Literature

The Nineteenth-Century Origin of the Wisdom Corpus

(p.82) 3 The Birth of Wisdom Literature
An Obituary for "Wisdom Literature"

Will Kynes

Oxford University Press

This chapter aims to discover the precise “scholarly world” in which the Wisdom category arose, understand what aspects of that environment inspired its creation, and evaluate the lasting effects that origin has had on its interpretation. Johann Bruch’s Weisheits-Lehre der Hebräer (1851) is the first work to draw together a developing concept of a Wisdom genre and present it systematically and comprehensively. In the nineteenth century, German Christians like Bruch were struggling to reconcile the universalistic, humanistic, and philosophical aspects of their religion with its particularistic connection with a history that was becoming increasingly problematic under the intense examination of eighteenth-century rationalism and nineteenth-century historical criticism. This was fertile soil for Wisdom Literature’s development as the “universalistic, humanistic, philosophical” collection within the Old Testament. The level of abstraction necessary to justify the diverse category leaves ample room for scholars to import their own presuppositions into the interpretation of these texts.

Keywords:   Germany, nineteenth century, Johann Bruch, philosophy, universalism, humanism, influence, Kant

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