Adult Ed Classes

Adult Education Seminar: Ecclesiastes | Starts September 18th, immediately following the dismissal of the 9 o’clock service

A 13-Week Seminar led by the Rev’d Phillip Ellsworth

Sundays, immediately following the 9 o’clock service, ending at 10:55. Begins September 18th, and continues through the December 11th, the Second Sunday in Advent

Ecclesiastes doesn’t sugarcoat anything; that’s reason enough to love this book. Its author Koheleth boasts that he has gained wisdom, and that is the source of his sorrow. He is not King Solomon but a teacher deliberately creating the fiction that he is the King in Jerusalem, and his first readers would have understood the fiction. He uses this rhetorical device to heighten his claim to have seen and done it all. He wrote the book in the 3rd century BC.

The ancient rabbis called the Bible a basket that can be too big to get your arms around; they advised readers to pick up the basket by what they called its handles; i.e., the wisdom literature of which Ecclesiastes is a part.

Ecclesiastes is the Bible’s anti-story, the Devil’s Advocate, the biblical book that takes seriously the only philosophical alternative to what the Germans call the weltanschauung of the Bible. Like Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov, Ecclesiastes faces up to the terrible possibility that we live in a world without God; that trusting God is whistling in the dark. And it fights fire with fire.

The course is ‘open enrollment’; attend whenever you can do so. Meets upstairs in Walton Hall where coffee, hot tea, and victuals will be waiting for you.