"A strange, strange book: The Strange Beauty of the Song of Songs"

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Riley, Kelton
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School of Theology Thesis 2024 , University of the South , School of Theology , Song of Songs , Strange Book , biblical scholarship
The Song of Songs is one of the most curious books in the Biblical canon. This thesis explores the history of exegesis of Song of Songs. Chapter One begins with an overview of modern biblical scholarship’s attempts to define and situate the elusive book within its historical context. Chapters Two through Four survey the long history of interpretation of the Song, especially the long-standing use of allegory that has dominated the Song’s interpretation for centuries. Modern exegesis also factors into Chapter Four, including the Song’s inspiration for particular theologies such as feminist, queer, and ecological readings. Chapter Five ventures a translation by the author and a new reading that looks at the Songs as an intra-Trinitarian love song that takes place within Godhead itself. This thesis defends the idea that the Song of Songs is a strange, strange book, and as such it is uniquely suited to offer insights into a strange, strange God.