In Praise of Wisdom: Literary and Theological Reflections on Faith and Reason
"You are taken to task more for your lack of wisdom than you are praised for your harmful mildness" - King Lear. Paffenroth's book examines several major aspects and developments of the Biblical concept of Wisdom. He focuses on Wisdom as it evolves through the works of Shakespeare, Goethe, Melville, and Dostoevsky. The getting of Wisdom - the ultimate expression of joining of head and heart in search of God - is a key theme not only in biblical Wisdom literature but one of the major themes in Western literature. Lear, Ahab, Ismeal, Ivan Karamzov - all are in search of that meaningful combination of head and heart that brings a real knowledge of the world and of God to them. Wisdom is therefore the basis of a relationship with God, and the foundation of human happiness, freedom and fulfillment. Paffenroth examines wisdom under four broad categories: the destructiveness of folly; the feminine side of Wisdom; the folly of Christ as Wisdom; and the problem of suffering, especially as it highlights the inadequacy of reason. Kim Paffenroth is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Iona College. He is the author of Judas: Images of the Lost Disciple and the co-editor with Robert Kennedy of A Reader's Companion to Augustine's Confessions.
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