The book of Ecclesiastes belongs to a literary genre called “wisdom literature.” Though unfamiliar to many, “wisdom literature” is an invaluable resource for the person who wishes to live and steward wisely. This strangest of biblical books opens and closes with the well-known cry “Meaningless! Meaningless! Everything is meaningless!” But what unfolds throughout the writer’s argument will come as a surprise to the engaged and thoughtful reader. There is a second dominant theme running throughout the book that serves as a response to pessimistic resignation. There are multiple successive joy refrains in which the writer argues that satisfaction in and through our work is the heritage of those who revere God and receive life and joy as gifts from the hand of God.
Our speaker will be J. Daryl Charles, Ph.D., the Acton Institute Affiliated Scholar in Theology & Ethics, and contributing editor to the journal Providence: A Journal of Christianity and American Foreign Policy. He is an affiliate scholar of the John Jay Institute, and author or contributor to 18 books, including his newest, Wisdom's Work: Essays on Ethics, Vocation and Culture.
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