Three Philosophies of Life: Ecclesiastes: Life as Vanity, Job: Life as Suffering, Song of Songs: Life as Loveby Peter Kreeft
Pub. Date: 06/28/1990
Publisher: Ignatius Press
"I've been a philosopher for all my adult life and the three most profound books of philosophy that I have ever read are Ecclesiastes, Job, and Song of Songs." These are the opening lines of Kreeft's Three Philosophies of Life. He reflects that there are ultimately only three philosophies of life and each one is represented by one of these books of the Bible-life is vanity; life is suffering; life is love.
In these three books Kreeft shows how we have Dante's great epic The Divine Comedy played out, from Hell to Purgatory to Heaven. But it is an epic played out in our hearts and lives, here and now. Just as there is movement in Dante's epic, so there is movement in these books, from Ecclesiates to Job, from Job to Song of Songs. Love is the final answer to Ecclesiastes' quest, the alternative to vanity, and the true meaning of life. Finally, Kreeft sees in these books the epitome of theological virtues of faith, hope and love and "an essential summary of the spiritual history of the world".
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Kreeft's interpretation of three spiritual classics is enlightening and helps one see the old books in a new light. Our contemporary world is placed side by side with the Old Testemant writers' and there is much to be learned from the wisdom of life as meaningless, suffering, and love. With eyes that see through the lense of Christ (tinted by medieval philosophy), Kreeft helps one to glean a rich plate of hope from three books that may not at first glance offer much of anything.
Kreeft clearly explains Ecclesiastes, Job, and Song of Songs in depth. He makes the books much more understandable than reading them without the background and explanations in his book.