Friendship and Virtue Ethics in the Book of Job

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Patricia Vesely
  • Cambridge, England: 
    Cambridge University Press
    , March
     299 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.
Review coming soon!

Review by David B. Hunsicker forthcoming.


For classical philosophers, friendship was a serious topic of ethical reflection, yet in contemporary discussions on ethics, this subject is largely absent. Drawing upon Aristotelian ethics based on virtue, Patricia Vesely examines friendship as a moral category in the Book of Job, illuminating those virtues, motivations, and perceptions that this relationship entails. She argues that for Job, the virtues of loyalty, compassion, courage, humility, honesty, hospitality, and practical wisdom are essential to a relationship of friendship. These traits of character are most fully embodied in actions of advocacy. In addition to a detailed examination of friendship in the Book of Job, Vesely addresses topics such as the contribution of virtue to human flourishing, the role of tragic literature in moral formation, friendship in Hellenistic and biblical contexts, and ethics in heroic societies. Her book brings together topics spanning philosophy, ethics, and biblical studies, yielding a work that will appeal to a broad range of audiences.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Patricia Vesely is Instructor in the Hebrew Bible at the Union Presbyterian Seminary, Richmond and Virginia Commonwealth University.


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