The Personification of Wisdom  book cover
1st Edition

The Personification of Wisdom

ISBN 9781138252233
Published May 16, 2017 by Routledge
218 Pages

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Book Description

This book examines the personification of Wisdom as a female figure - a central motif in Proverbs, Job, Sirach, Wisdom and Baruch. Alice M. Sinnott identifies how and why the complex character of Wisdom was introduced into the Israelite tradition, and created and developed by Israelite/Jewish wisdom teachers and writers. Arguing that by personifying Wisdom the authors of Proverbs responded to Israel's defeat by Babylon and the loss of Davidic monarchy, and by retrieving and transforming the Wisdom figure the authors of Sirach, Baruch and Wisdom responded to the spread of Hellenism and the potential loss of identity for Jews. Sinnott concludes that personified Wisdom functioned to reinterpret and transform the Israelite/Jewish tradition.

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction; Origins of personified wisdom; Wisdom responds to a crisis; Wisdom, where shall she be found?; Wisdom: an enduring heritage; Personified wisdom as saviour; Conclusion; Bibliography; Index.

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Alice M. Sinnott is from the School of Theology, University of Auckland, New Zealand.


'There is a great deal of scholarship here, and this book offers a good introduction both to the texts and the literature. The style is clear and accessible.' Stewart Weeks, Durham University 'This rich study is valuable for its breadth of coverage of diverse biblical writings and its depth of scholarship on the particular chosen texts. While offering the fruits of deep research, this volume is concisely written... I recommend this book for colleges where the Old Testament wisdom literature or feminist theology is studied.' Scripture Bulletin '... carefully researched work... The bibliographical coverage up until 1995 is extensive, and those reading and working in this field will be indebted to [the author] for providing such a clear and concise account of previous scholarship... takes its place among the resources available to those wishing to engage with this contribution of the wisdom scribes not only to Israel, but also to Christian and Jewish understandings of God.' Colloquium 'Sinnot does a good job in helping us to see how Wisdom is depicted as the active and saving presence of God in the world.' Letter and Spirit ’This is a fine study of the essential repertoire of biblical texts in which Wisdom personified features...’ Intenational Review of Biblical Studies