Scepticism and Ironic Correlations in the Joy Statements of Qoheleth? (Paperback)
This book is a response to the popular counter-reading of Ecclesiastes in the 1980s and 90s as a book of “joy” (rather than a pessimistic book). It examines the seven “joy statements” of Qoheleth in the light of analogies with scepticism and the literary form of irony. Irony, like scepticism, has the function to induce doubt and questions. The joy statements of Qoheleth are likely analogous to expressions of complex irony—whereby what is said is both meant and not meant. This examination highlights the complexity of the biblical book—while demonstrating how unlikely the “joy reading” may be.