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A significant milestone in
the history of feminism and
the study of Scripture.


Wisdom Commentary: Qoheleth (Ecclesiastes)

Lisa M. Wolfe

Wisdom Commentary: Qoheleth (Ecclesiastes) SEE INSIDE
Wisdom Commentary: Qoheleth (Ecclesiastes)

ISBN: 9780814681237, 8123

Details: 280 pgs, 6 x 9 x 1
Publication Date: 02/19/2020
Cistercian Publications
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2021 Catholic Media Association Award third place award in academic studies

Qoheleth, also called Ecclesiastes, has been bad news for women throughout history. In this commentary Lisa Wolfe offers intriguing new possibilities for feminist interpretation of the book's parts, including Qoheleth's most offensive passages, and as a whole. Throughout her interpretation, Wolfe explores multiple connections between this book and women of all times, from investigating how the verbs in the time poem in 3:1-8 may relate to biblical and contemporary women alike, to noting that if 11:1 indicates ancient beer making it thus reveals the women who made the beer itself. In the end, Wolfe argues that, by struggling with the perplexing text of Qoheleth, we may discover fruitful, against-the-grain reading strategies for our own time.

Lisa M. Wolfe is professor of Hebrew Bible, Endowed Chair, at Oklahoma City University (OCU) and also teaches for Saint Paul School of Theology, OCU campus. Lisa is ordained in the United Church of Christ and preaches and teaches regularly in the community and across the country. Her Bible study DVDs, "Uppity Women of the Bible," and companion commentary Ruth, Esther, Song of Songs and Judith, were published in 2010 and 2011, respectively. In 2018 she received the Distinguished Faculty Award for the OCU Honors Program and the University Outstanding Faculty Award.

Listen to Dr. Wolfe talk about this book on Not Your Grandma’s Bible Study Podcast

Read her article on Bible Odyssey about Qoheleth "Vanity of Vanities"

ISBN: 9780814681237, 8123

Details: 280 pgs, 6 x 9 x 1
Publication Date: 02/19/2020
Cistercian Publications


"Lisa Wolfe is quick to acknowledge that the book of Qoheleth is not an easy read for feminists. Yet her ability to engage Qoheleth's questioning of orthodoxy with a feminist questioning of Qoheleth lays the groundwork for a rich commentary that uncovers ancient and modern religious absurdities about hierarchy, gender, and class. Through the process Wolfe begins to create a place in Qoheleth for women—both ancient and modern."
Thomas B. Dozeman, Professor of Old Testament, United Theological Seminary

“Wolfe’s is the first thoroughgoing feminist interpretation of Ecclesiastes. The result is neither a condemnation of the ancient author nor a whitewash of his offensive passages but a skillfully nuanced approach to the book that can lead to respect for the ancient author’s contribution to the hermeneutic of suspicion.”
The Bible Today

"This book contributes numerous valuable, gender-critical insights to our understanding of the ethic of Ecclesiastes."

"This is a good example of how feminist/womanist biblical scholarship creates new readings of texts many have long ago written off. The Afterword, 'Qoheleth as a Model for Feminist Hermeneutics' is a stand-alone essay that could fruitfully be studied in classes. Readers will find that the section on women as makers of beer (Ecclesiastes 11:1) shatters a few more myths as craft makers prove today!"