The Sage of Time and Chance, Kathleen L. Housley
Kathleen L. Housley

The Sage of Time and Chance

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The Sage of Time and Chance is a work of fiction based on Ecclesiastes, the most skeptical book in the Bible. Ecclesiastes was written by a Hebrew sage called Koheleth who had the courage to wonder whether human beings were different from animals, and why the mind was limited in its ability to comprehend life. In The Sage of Time and Chance, Koheleth summons translators from all the corners of the Earth to review his provocative manuscript before he dies. The story is set in Jerusalem in the third century BCE, a peaceful period rich in cultural exchange and scholarship. Among the translators who come to the council are a monk from India, a Scythian warrior, and a shaman. Bitter rivalries and misunderstandings make reaching consensus difficult and dangerous. So also does the presence of actual translators of Ecclesiastes from the future, including Jerome (Latin) and Saadia ben Yosef (Arabic). The most unusual translator is a silent child who understands more than all the others what it means to be human--the essential question that drives Koheleth. Led by the child, Koheleth navigates around the pitfalls of cynicism and finds his way back to joy.
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197 printed pages
Original publication
2015

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