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date: 22 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Several of the great religious faiths have an ambiguous attitude towards wisdom. While sometimes it is said to be ‘more precious than rubies’, in other passages the desire for wisdom seems almost like a betrayal of God. More exactly, it is often cast as a pagan, perhaps peculiarly Greek, aspiration that somehow blinds people to what is really important—either acting with steadfast love and justice (Jeremiah) or proclaiming Christ crucified (St Paul). This chapter develops a general conception of wisdom that tries to make sense of these various attitudes. It also applies the view to a variety of theological questions. For instance, does it make sense to say that the Devil, as traditionally conceived, is wise? And does someone who is wise actually need to live well herself, or does she only need to be a source of good advice or guidance about how to live well?

Keywords: wisdom, theology, knowledge, living well, Kierkegaard, St Paul

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