With its confronting existential expressions of life, Ecclesiastes represents a radical source of theological engagement and wisdom for Christian faith and practice. The foci of Ecclesiastes have profound resonance with contemporary foci of human experience. This unit aims to correlate theological themes and existential tonalities of Ecclesiastes with contemporary theological method that is applicable to ministry practices.

Unit code: CT3007S

Unit status: Approved (New unit)

Points: 18.0

Unit level: Undergraduate Level 3

Unit discipline: Systematic Theology

Proposing College: Stirling Theological College

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Learning outcomes


To develop an appreciation for the theological and literary character of Ecclesiastes


To articulate the relevance of Ecclesiastes for contemporary expressions of interpreting life experience, forming values and articulating meaning


To identify within Ecclesiastes, wisdom textures for contemporary ministry practice


To evaluate the literary style of Ecclesiastes and from this to ascertain theological themes for creative contemporary expressions of Christian identity


To stimulate further exploratory interest in biblical wisdom for contemporary engagement and expression.

Unit sequence

75 points in UG study including 30 points in CT


Lecture, discussion, seminar rotations

Indicative Bibliography

  • Christianson, ES Ecclesiastes throughout the Centuries, Singapore: Wiley-Blackwell, 2012.
  • Terry Eagleton, T After Theory, London et al.: Penguin, 2004.
  • ___________, Hope without Optimism, New Haven: Yale University Press, 2015.
  • ___________, Culture, New Haven: Yale University Press, 2016.
  • Gilkey, L Message and Existence: An Introduction to Christian Theology, Eugene Or.: Wipf & Stock, 1999.
  • Janzen, JL “Qohelet on ‘Life under the sun’”, CBQ 70 (2008): 465-483.
  • Jenson, RW On Thinking the Human: Resolutions of Difficult Notions, Grand Rapids & Cambridge: Eerdmans, 2003.
  • Kolakowski, L Why Is There Something Rather Than Nothing? : Questions From Great Philosophers, trans. Agnieszka Kolakowska, London: Penguin, 2008. (recommended for purchase)
  • Limburg, J Encountering Ecclesiastes: A Book for Our Time, Grand Rapids & Cambridge: Eerdmans, 2006.
  • Nagel, T Mortal Questions, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012.
  • Nietzsche, F Human, All too Human, London: Penguin, 1994.
  • Pascal, B Pensées and Other Writings, trans. Honor Levi, ed. with an Introduction and Notes by Anthony Levi. Oxford and New York, Oxford University Press, 1995.
  • Perry, TA Dialogue with Kohelet: The Book of Ecclesiastes, Translation and Commentary University Park, Pen.: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 1993.
  • Scruton, R On Human Nature, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 2017.
  • Sneed, M The Politics of Permission in Ecclesiastes: A Social-Science Perspective, Atlanta: SBL, 2012.
  • Wittgenstein, L Culture and Value, trans. Peter Winch, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1984.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)
Document Study

600 word document study

0 15.0
Book Review

750 word reading review

0 15.0

2000 word essay

0 40.0
Document Study

600 word document study

0 15.0
Document Study

600 word document study

0 15.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 19 Oct, 2017

Unit record last updated: 2019-04-11 14:44:22 +1000