Genre and Moral Imagination in the Wisdom Dialogue
This chapter focuses on the genre, “the wisdom dialogue”, examples of which are the Babylonian Theodicy and the book of Job. The most distinctive generic markers that serve to sort this group of texts from others that bear more distant comparisons include (1) the form of a freestanding dialogue in which a single question is examined by two or more speakers representing two contrasting perspectives; (2) the topic considered, which is that of the problem of inexplicable suffering or, more broadly, the meaningfulness of life; (3) an exploratory stance; and (4) the use of a sophisticated style and techniques of composition that suggest a setting among the intellectual elites, and probably more specifically among professional “academics”.
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