Special Issue "The Wayfinders: Why Ancient Wisdom Matters in the Modern World"

A special issue of Religions (ISSN 2077-1444).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 May 2016)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Katharine J. Dell

Faculty of Divinity, University of Cambridge, The Old Schools, Trinity Lane, Cambridge CB2 1TN, UK
Website | E-Mail
Phone: 01223 763038
Interests: Proverbs; Job Ecclesiastes; wisdom literature; creation; ecological readings of texts; musical interpretation of biblical texts; Hebrew Bible/Old Testament
Guest Editor
Mr. Arthur J. Keefer

Faculty of Divinity, University of Cambridge, The Old Schools, Trinity Lane, Cambridge CB2 1TN, UK
E-Mail
Interests: Wisdom Literature; Hebrew Poetics; Rhetoric, Epistemology, Pedagogy; NT use of the OT; Speech Ethics

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In “The Wayfinders”, a Special Issue of Religions, scholars will explore the significance of the biblical wisdom literature for the current day. At the heart of the six articles lies the question, why does ancient wisdom matter in the modern world? The question includes two tasks: first, gathering exegetical insights from the biblical texts, and second, relating these insights to a contemporary context. The biblical wisdom corpus includes the books of Job, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, and selected Psalms. We account for these by including articles that feature each book. However, we also offer essays that consider the wisdom collection as a whole, presenting a theme that arises in all of them, such as wonder or the foolish character. The texts, then, serve as a starting point, guiding our selection of contributors and balancing the issue overall.

While we assign scholars a biblical book, they will choose particular passages based on interests and aims. They will select a context or theme related to the modern world, yet we will offer suggestions, such as privacy, technology, the family, and education, and ensure that the issue presents a variety rather than a homogenous collection of concepts. Biblical wisdom literature lends itself to modern contextual application, and the articles will target an audience not necessarily specialized in biblical scholarship. Thus, the authors will concentrate not on overviews of scholarship but rather on the message of the text and its it significance for the modern world. This approach suits theologians, scholars of religion or of any of the themes addressed, and even lay readers with an interest in the Bible and its application for today.

Dr. Katharine J. Dell
Mr. Arthur J. Keefer
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Religions is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


Keywords

  • wisdom
  • wonder
  • education
  • wise
  • fool
  • speech

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Editorial

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Open AccessFeature PaperEditorial Introduction to the Special Issue: “The Wayfinders: Why Ancient Wisdom Matters in the Modern World”, Religions 2016
Religions 2016, 7(10), 121; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel7100121
Received: 18 September 2016 / Revised: 19 September 2016 / Accepted: 19 September 2016 / Published: 27 September 2016
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Abstract
In “The Wayfinders”, a Special Issue for the journal Religions, scholars explore the significance of the biblical wisdom literature for the current day.[...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Wayfinders: Why Ancient Wisdom Matters in the Modern World)

Research

Jump to: Editorial

Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Psalms 111–112: Big Story, Little Story
Religions 2016, 7(9), 115; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel7090115
Received: 10 May 2016 / Revised: 9 August 2016 / Accepted: 11 August 2016 / Published: 5 September 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (183 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study argues that the juxtaposition of Psalms 111–112 offers wisdom for life. Psalm 111, in stressing God’s mighty deeds of redemption for his people, focuses on the “big story” for the whole people; Psalm 112, in stressing “wisdom,” encourages each member of [...] Read more.
This study argues that the juxtaposition of Psalms 111–112 offers wisdom for life. Psalm 111, in stressing God’s mighty deeds of redemption for his people, focuses on the “big story” for the whole people; Psalm 112, in stressing “wisdom,” encourages each member of God’s people in a day-to-day walk, a “little story,” that contributes to the big story of the whole people. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Wayfinders: Why Ancient Wisdom Matters in the Modern World)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Metaphors in the Wisdom Literature of the Hebrew Bible and Contemporary Art
Religions 2016, 7(9), 106; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel7090106
Received: 30 April 2016 / Revised: 20 July 2016 / Accepted: 25 July 2016 / Published: 29 August 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (8227 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Biblical wisdom literature is a treasure-trove of powerful metaphors. This article presents a sample of these metaphors and their significant impact on contemporary artwork. The impact is characterized by both appropriation and adaptation, similitude and analogy, respectively. The highlighted metaphors are not merely [...] Read more.
Biblical wisdom literature is a treasure-trove of powerful metaphors. This article presents a sample of these metaphors and their significant impact on contemporary artwork. The impact is characterized by both appropriation and adaptation, similitude and analogy, respectively. The highlighted metaphors are not merely catalogued but, more or less, analyzed with regard to relevant contemporary artwork. This augments the importance of contemporary biblical literacy analysis and uses it as one of the tools by which it is possible to gauge the impact and interaction, in this case, of the metaphor-world of the wisdom tradition on contemporary art. More importantly, however, this study underscores the relevance of these metaphors for biblical exegesis, hermeneutics, and theology. The analysis of the reception of these metaphors in contemporary artworks undergirds and informs the process of interpretation. The reception of these metaphors in their contemporary art contexts is best understood within the framework of imagery and imagistic language. Metaphor, as a subset of imagery and imagistic language, is foundational for the examined wisdom books, Proverbs, Job, and Qoheleth, and for the relevant contemporary artwork, alike. Moreover, metaphor also constitutes a bridge between the ancient and contemporary context. With this backdrop in mind, this article argues for the necessity of exploring the connections between these wisdom books, metaphor studies, and contemporary artwork. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Wayfinders: Why Ancient Wisdom Matters in the Modern World)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle The Laughter of Fools: The Relevance of Wisdom in Today’s World
Religions 2016, 7(9), 110; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel7090110
Received: 20 April 2016 / Revised: 20 June 2016 / Accepted: 18 July 2016 / Published: 25 August 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (189 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper explores different facets of the character type of the fool in the book of Proverbs and looks at his primary characteristics in the context of some of the main themes of Proverbs. Particular concerns are with the difficulties of parenting a [...] Read more.
This paper explores different facets of the character type of the fool in the book of Proverbs and looks at his primary characteristics in the context of some of the main themes of Proverbs. Particular concerns are with the difficulties of parenting a fool and the idea of life as a path full of choices, with problems with communication and with other characteristics of the fool such as not listening to others, a tendency to hasty anger, wiliness and getting into unsuitable social situations. This paper puts this discussion in the context of the wider wisdom quest and its theological themes. It ends with images of the fool from Ecclesiastes and some insights for modern application. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Wayfinders: Why Ancient Wisdom Matters in the Modern World)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Revising the Modern Moral Paradigm with the Book of Proverbs
Religions 2016, 7(6), 79; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel7060079
Received: 5 April 2016 / Revised: 8 June 2016 / Accepted: 16 June 2016 / Published: 22 June 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (175 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The modern moral paradigm champions a codified format, where ethics is conceived of as and conveyed by means of law. Among the wisdom literature of the Hebrew Bible, the book of Proverbs offers an alternative to modern codified morality. I consider a concern [...] Read more.
The modern moral paradigm champions a codified format, where ethics is conceived of as and conveyed by means of law. Among the wisdom literature of the Hebrew Bible, the book of Proverbs offers an alternative to modern codified morality. I consider a concern shared by ancient and modern societies—communication ethics—to argue that through Proverbs’ focus on character, wisdom, and the Lord, the book could revise the way we think about, articulate, and act upon the modern moral paradigm. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Wayfinders: Why Ancient Wisdom Matters in the Modern World)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Possessions and Identity: Job’s Problems and Ours
Religions 2016, 7(6), 78; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel7060078
Received: 1 May 2016 / Revised: 13 June 2016 / Accepted: 15 June 2016 / Published: 22 June 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (189 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Recent research undertaken in the fields of anthropology and consumer behavior indicates that possessions play an important role in the construction of identity. While it is tempting to view both the connection between possessions and identity and the problems this engenders as a [...] Read more.
Recent research undertaken in the fields of anthropology and consumer behavior indicates that possessions play an important role in the construction of identity. While it is tempting to view both the connection between possessions and identity and the problems this engenders as a recent phenomenon, the Book of Job also recognizes this connection and is cognizant of its problematic nature. While Job does not offer answers to our contemporary dilemmas of possession, the book highlights the nuances of the problem as they existed in its own time and place, with all characters offering different perspectives on how the connection should be understood and how one ought to live in consequence of this understanding. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Wayfinders: Why Ancient Wisdom Matters in the Modern World)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Qohelet and the Marks of Modernity: Reading Ecclesiastes with Matthew Arnold and Charles Taylor
Religions 2016, 7(6), 77; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel7060077
Received: 1 May 2016 / Revised: 13 June 2016 / Accepted: 14 June 2016 / Published: 16 June 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (182 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The biblical book of Ecclesiastes is often claimed as a harbinger of modernity. In this essay, I compare Ecclesiastes with two overlapping constructions of modernity, taken from Matthew Arnold and Charles Taylor, focusing especially on Taylor’s motifs of inwardness, narrativity, meaninglessness, and ordinary [...] Read more.
The biblical book of Ecclesiastes is often claimed as a harbinger of modernity. In this essay, I compare Ecclesiastes with two overlapping constructions of modernity, taken from Matthew Arnold and Charles Taylor, focusing especially on Taylor’s motifs of inwardness, narrativity, meaninglessness, and ordinary life. I suggest that the likeness to modernity in Ecclesiastes is a complex bundle of emphases held in tension, which remains hospitable to pre-modern understandings and commitments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Wayfinders: Why Ancient Wisdom Matters in the Modern World)
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