With summer vacation about to get underway for you in academe, you’ll be needing some summer reading. Tacitus recommends the Bible, especially the Book of Ecclesiastes:

Ecclesiastes has it all — Kierkegaardian reflection, Dostoevskian woe, ’80s-style excess, a strong central figure in the brooding Qoholeth, an easily-digestible episodic format, an endorsement of intellectualism, a strikingingly postmodern skepticism toward God, and of course a happy ending. But first comes the angst and the debauching. . . .
Now that’s entertainment. And, in all seriousness, a spirituality I can appreciate. I know it’s all the rage to be into Romans, with its impenetrable passages and baffling allusions; and of course Ezekiel has the UFOs. But I’m not one of the in crowd — give me Qoholeth.

Hmm. I’ll have to go re-read that one. Been some time since I delved into the Old Testament.

James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Chris Short says:

    How can it not be good when it starts by telling us that everything is meaningless…

  2. Mark Hasty says:

    You ought to love this, James:

    “The heart of the wise inclines to the right; but the heart of a fool to the left.” (Ecclesiastes 10:2)

    Still, for great summer reading, 1 Kings 18 is good (Elijah taunts the prophets of Baal), but you can’t beat Song of Solomon. How they ever let soft-core porn become Holy Scripture, I’ll never figure out.

  3. jen says:

    How they ever let soft-core porn become Holy Scripture, I’ll never figure out.

    Just shows that when God created men and women and sex, He wasn’t kidding around when He said, “It is good.”