SPIRITUALITY & RELIGION

We Find Ourselves Put to the Test: A Reading of the Book of Job

McGill-Queen's Univ. May 2018. 184p. notes. ISBN 9780773553156. $29.95. REL
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Approaching the Book of Job as a philosopher and lover of the dramatic arts, Crooks (philosophy, musical theatre, Bishop's Univ.) reveals a remarkably complex character who rings true. Providing insights into this confounding biblical text, in which the prolog and epilog appear tacked on, God's answer to Job sounds like a blustering non sequitur, and Job's various responses seem hopelessly incongruent. Here, Crooks finds Job addressing whether the world is a place of nurture or indifference. Then like a Stoic of ancient Greece and Rome, Job turns to despair in discovering it all to be absurd. His comforters attempt to rescue him from this conclusion by insisting on a theological framework of punishment and repentance. But when Job refuses, his friends turn on him in order to rescue their ideology. Because Job recognizes his small part in the world, God's speeches (and Job's replies) make sense.
VERDICT Crooks's personal and literary remarks, along with his use of stage craft, add to this philosophical exploration, giving readers a new appreciation for this example of ancient wisdom literature.

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