Ecclesiastes Through the Centuries / Edition 1

Hardcover (Print)
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $93.87
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 24%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (8) from $93.87   
  • New (6) from $93.87   
  • Used (2) from $118.98   


Over the centuries, Ecclesiastes has influenced a number of diverse areas of life and thought. Ecclesiastes Through the Centuries assesses the fascinating effects of the book on the culture of the various times in religion, art, and social thought. Explores a fascinating range of Jewish and Christian readings. Features engaging and unusual examples from art, music, literature and history: from Thackeray and Orwell, to Salvador Dali's Illustrated Bible, to the inflammatory exposition of Ecclesiastes at the funeral of Queen Mary.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Christianson's study of Ecclesiastes's cultural impact is rich and rewarding. [He] beautifully exposits the material that he treats, and suggests by brief reference some other avenues of fruitful exploration. In these ways, Ecclesiastes Through the Centuries serves both as an excellent treatment of the title theme and a good model for other reception histories to follow. The book may be heartily recommended, without reservation." (Bible and Critical Theory)

"A fundamental resource on biblical interpretation, especially in the modern world, this book is a winner." (International Review of Biblical Studies)

"The introduction and commentary proper cover many topics, from patristic and rabbinic exegesis through to modern science-fiction, with numerous stops on the way.... Very well written and accessible ... an excellent book." (Society for Old Testament Study Book List)

"Students of Ecclesiastes have been waiting a good many years for a book like Eric Christianson's study … Not since the time of Christian David Ginsburg's magisterial commentary Coheleth (commonly called the Book of Ecclesiastes) in 1861 has there been such a thorough survey of the reception history of Ecclesiastes." (Lutheran Theological Journal)

"With the text's many difficult and provocative passages, the reception history of Ecclesiastes is always going to be more interesting than that of many biblical books, and in this erudite but entertaining commentary, Christianson takes full advantage of the rich materials at his disposal.... The introduction and commentary proper cover many topics, from patristic and rabbinic exegesis through to modern science-fiction, with numerous stops on the way.... Christianson is a genial guide throughout, and his own enthusiasm is clear; the book is very well written and accessible, moreover, so that it should appeal to both specialists and a wider public.... Overall an excellent book." (Society for Old Testament Study Book List)

"A fundamental resource on biblical interpretation, especially in the modern world, this book is a winner." (International Review of Biblical Studies)

Read More Show Less

Product Details

Meet the Author

Eric S. Christianson is Senior Lecturer in Biblical Studies at the University of Chester. He is author of A Time to Tell: Narrative Strategies in Ecclesiastes (1988) and co-editor of Cinéma Divinité: Religion, Theology and the Bible in Film (2005). He is co-founder of the Centre for the Study of Religion and Popular Culture at the University of Chester and maintains the website for the Blackwell Bible Commentary Series (

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Series Editors’ Preface.




A History of Reception Histories.

Reading Strategies and Lines of Influence.

Pre-Modern Reading: –1500.

Early Modern Reading: 1500–1800.

Modern Reading: 1800–.

Ecclesiastes 1.

The Life and Death of Solomon the Author: 1:1 et passim.

Vanitas vanitatum: 1:2 et passim.

The Overture Played Out: 1:3–18.

Ecclesiastes 2.

Wrestling with the Test of Pleasure: 2:1–10.

Understanding Wisdom, Folly and God’s Gifts: 2:11–24.

Ecclesiastes 3:1–8.

The Totality of Times.

Ecclesiastes 3:9–6:12.

On Fate, Knowledge and Anthropology: 3:9–22.

On Oppression and the Value of Companionship: 4:1–12.

On Conducting Oneself in the House of God: 5:1–8.

On the Possibility of Profit and Relief from hebel: 5:10–6:12.

Ecclesiastes 7–8.

The Curious Values of Wisdom: 7:1–12.

The Incongruity of Experience and the Inaccessibility of Wisdom: 7:13–29.

About Wisdom, Power and Authority: 8:1–17.

Ecclesiastes 9:1–12.

The Wisdom of Death and Life.

Ecclesiastes 9:13–11:10.

Wise Conduct in the Light of Uncertainty: 9:13–11:6.

The Final Call to Joy: 11:7–10.

Ecclesiastes 12:1–7.

The Rule of Allegory.

Beyond Allegory.

Ecclesiastes 12:8–14.

The Final Word.

A Hermeneutical Postscript.

Understanding the Pervasive Appeal of Qoheleth.

The Exegetical ‘Fidelity’ of Ecclesiastes’ Reception History.

How Might This Reception History Inform the Discipline?.


Primary Sources.

Reception Histories of Ecclesiastes.

Specialist Comparative Studies.

Ecclesiastes General Secondary Sources.

Other Secondary Sources.

Appendix—The Quotable Qoheleth: Ecclesiastes in Popular Discourse.

List of Illustrations.


Name Index.

Subject Index

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)