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Friendship and Virtue Ethics in the Book of Job

  • Date Published: March 2019
  • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • format: Adobe eBook Reader
  • isbn: 9781108757171

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About the Authors
  • For classical philosophers, friendship was a serious topic of ethical reflection, yet in contemporary discussions on ethics, this subject is largely absent. Drawing upon Aristotelian ethics based on virtue, Patricia Vesely examines friendship as a moral category in the Book of Job, illuminating those virtues, motivations, and perceptions that this relationship entails. She argues that for Job, the virtues of loyalty, compassion, courage, humility, honesty, hospitality, and practical wisdom are essential to a relationship of friendship. These traits of character are most fully embodied in actions of advocacy. In addition to a detailed examination of friendship in the Book of Job, Vesely addresses topics such as the contribution of virtue to human flourishing, the role of tragic literature in moral formation, friendship in Hellenistic and biblical contexts, and ethics in heroic societies. Her book brings together topics spanning philosophy, ethics, and biblical studies, yielding a work that will appeal to a broad range of audiences.

    • Brings together the fields of biblical studies, ethics, and philosophy
    • Provides a new look at friendship - a topic that readers are familiar with in their day-to-day lives but may not have considered under the rubrics of 'ethics' or 'biblical interpretation'
    • Uses virtue ethics as a consistent methodological lens for reading the book of Job
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'A highly significant contribution to the current interest in similarities between the Hebrew Bible and the virtue ethics tradition deriving from Aristotle, this is a fine analysis of friendship in Job. A penetrating, elegant, and profoundly important study.' John Barton, Emeritus Oriel and Laing Professor of the Interpretation of Holy Scripture, University of Oxford

    'The topic of friendship in the book of Job has been waiting to receive its scholarly due for a long time. Dr. Vesely's study admirably fills the gap, as she effectively uses Aristotle and, more broadly, virtue ethics to navigate the minefield of friendship in Job.  It is a foundational treatment.' William P. Brown, William Marcellus McPheeters Professor of Old Testament, Columbia Theological Seminary

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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2019
    • format: Adobe eBook Reader
    • isbn: 9781108757171
    • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction to virtue ethics
    2. Friendship in Aristotle
    3. The ethics of reading: friendship in the Old Testament
    4. Friendship in the poetic dialogue
    5. Contrasting moral visions: the Joban prose tale
    6. Virtue and the good life: Job 29
    7. Tragic literature and the cultivation of character.

  • Author

    Patricia Vesely, Union Presbytarian Seminary, Richmond
    Patricia Vesely is a scholar of the Hebrew Bible and teaches at the Union Presbyterian Seminary, Richmond and Virginia Commonwealth University.

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