The Politics of Wisdom and Folly

I’ve just guest posted over on Political Theology Today. I discuss the significance of the personification of Wisdom in Proverbs and the relevance of the distinction between the politics of folly and wisdom.

The conceptual interplay between the pursuit of Wisdom and sexual faithfulness and continence is central for Proverbs. Both understanding and folly begin with the heart: folly with the love of error and hatred of reproof (empowering Folly’s weapon of flattery), but understanding with the love of wisdom (philosophia) and the pursuit of uprightness. Without a humble and faithful love for Wisdom, the greatest intelligence can be reduced to a factory of self-pleasing and self-deluding rationalizations.

A close conceptual relation between righteousness, faithfulness, and prudence in sexual relations and marital bonds and the pursuit of understanding and political wisdom is surprising and perhaps scandalous in the contemporary world, where the public realm of politics is considered hermetically sealed both from the sex lives of our leaders and of the electorate. Yet Proverbs controversially implies that these things can never be separated. Both rulers and voters who cannot faithfully direct and guard their loves and desires are compromised political actors.

Read the whole thing here.

About Alastair Roberts

Alastair Roberts (PhD, Durham University) writes in the areas of biblical theology and ethics, but frequently trespasses beyond these bounds. He participates in the weekly Mere Fidelity podcast, blogs at Alastair’s Adversaria, and tweets at @zugzwanged.
This entry was posted in Bible, Culture, Ethics, Guest Post, In the News, OT, OT Theology, Politics, Proverbs, Sex and Sexuality, Society, Theological. Bookmark the permalink.

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