Anderson, William H.U.
Scepticism and ironic correlations in the joy statements of Qoheleth?
PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.
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This Ph.D. dissertation examines the seven joy statements in the Book of Qoheleth (2.24-25; 3.12-13; 3.22; 5.17-19; 8.15; 9.7-9; 11.8-9) in order to understand their literary nature and effects. The thesis question which this dissertation attempts to answer is: Can scepticism and ironic correlations be found in the joy statements of Qoheleth? After examining the thesis question, the conclusion was drawn (thesis): Even if there is no scepticism in the joy statements of Qoheleth, one must be sceptical about any interpretation of them. In other words: Any reading of the joy statements in Qoheleth must be viewed as indeterminate. This conclusion was drawn not only on the basis of the literary nature and effects of the joy statements alone, which were indeterminate, but in the light of scepticism as a philosophy and because of possible correlations with irony.
The methodology for examining the thesis question is progressive. Each chapter of the dissertation provides additional information from the most basic upwards in an attempt to answer the question. Each chapter and section are critically assessed and conclusions drawn. The methodology of this dissertation is as follows:
Chapter one provides a careful analysis of key terms in Qoheleth:
Chapter two provides a detailed exegesis of the joy statements.
Chapter three provides a form critical analysis of the joy statements with special attention to their literary form in the overall literary structure of the book and within their overall (1.12-2.26; 3.1-15; 3.15-22; 5.7-6.9; 8.1-10.20; 9.1-12; 11.7-12.7) and immediate (2.17-26; 3.9-15; 3.18-22; 5.15-6.2; 8.10-17; 9.7-10; 11.8-9) contexts, additional exegetical notes, and with reference to Qoheleth's overall content and ethos.
Chapter four provides an overview of the philosophy of scepticism and the view there is a sceptical traditional in the Hebrew Bible.
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