An Interpretation Of The Book Of Proverbs : Selfishness And Secularity Reconsidered, By Zoltan S. Schwab

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Characterizing his book, Toward an Interpretation of the Book of Proverbs: Selfishness and Secularity Reconsidered, as standing in line with canonical interpretation, Zoltán S. Schwáb takes careful heed to the possibilities of theological reflections of the Book of Proverbs in resonance with its canonical context and the church tradition. As a consequence of his focus on theological, constant self-reflection, he leaves behind the historical quests to find out original settings/meanings, redactional layers, or compositional development of the book. His efforts is attuned to understand the text rather than to know. He, in this way, contributes to constructing a theology of Proverbs. In this book, Schwáb delves into two major topics that he…show more content…
According to Thomas Aquinas’ moral theology, “self-preservation is the most basic human end (97)” and this is not something to be condemned. “This principle is subordinated to the higher ends like living in community and knowing God (95).” Virtues guide one to comprehend the right hierarchy of ends. Among virtues of Thomas’ thinking, Schwáb understands, the virtue of prudence is parallel to the practical admonition of Proverbs. And this prudence “is the right sort of (practical) self-love, the self-love which is beneficial for the individual, the human community, and also for the relationship of humans with God.” “The natural inclination for Self-preservation and the priority of self-love does not mean selfishness (98)” in Thomistic moral theology. Schwáb’s systematic analysis on Deuteronomy presents that the motive clauses in Deuteronomy are about effectiveness and long life that are not indifferent from Proverbs’ self-interest. Reading Proverbs 1-9 as the context of Proverbs’ sentence-literature levels out the seeming non-Yahwistic characters of Proverbs. These results allow Schwáb to view that Proverbs is no more self-interested than the rest of the Bible. He goes on to say that the honor as a result of wise life and the openness of better-than sayings allude to Proverbs’ search for non-material gains, the search that is similarly visible in Thomistic system. Winding up Part III, Schwáb

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