Wise Teaching: Biblical Wisdom and Educational Ministry

Article excerpt

Wise Teaching: Biblical Wisdom and Educational Ministry, by Charles F Melchert. Trinity Press International, Harrisburg, 1998. 323 pp. $28. 00. ISBN 1-56338-139-7.

MELCHERT'S BOOK IS AN ATTEMPT to bridge ancient Israelite wisdom and contemporary education in order to portray "education in a wisdom approach," with stress on how educational processes depicted in wisdom literature may be appropriated for pedagogical understanding today.

After an introduction covering characteristics of wisdom texts that appeal to contemporary educators and his reader-response critical approach, Melchert walks through the wisdom literature of the Bible book by book (Proverbs, Job, Ecclesiastes, Sirach and the Wisdom of Solomon, and Jesus in the Gospels). A chapter on the pedagogical significance of Woman Wisdom is also included. In each of these chapters, he classifies his discoveries into three categories: content, methods, and rationale of education. The concluding chapter lays out a model of education in a wisdom approach that is dialogical, self-disciplined, playful, character-oriented, and open to new possibilities.

Although religious educators and pastors alike can find much to learn from this readable book, two cautionary comments are in order. …