The Dangerous Stupidity of the Unambiguous

The Polarity of the Proverbial Literature as a School of Wisdom

in European Judaism
Ursula B. Rapp Kirchliche Padagogische Hochschule Edith Stein, Salzburg, Austria

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The Book of Proverbs (Mishlei) is a collection of wisdom-sayings which are formulated in many cases as stereotypes of ‘good and bad’, ‘wise and stupid’. For today's readership this seems to be too simplistic and superficial for our experience of life. However, this need not lead to the conclusion that the text is outdated, because the stereotypes serve as a framework within which each has to locate him- or herself – always knowing that perceiving oneself as wise might be the most stupid opinion of all.

Contributor Notes

Ursula B. Rapp is Professor for Biblical Studies at the Kirchliche Padagogische Hochschule Edith Stein in Salzburg, Austria.

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European Judaism

A Journal for the New Europe


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