Song of Songs

Song of Solomon

Song of Solomon, Song of Songs, or Canticles, book of the Bible, 22d in the order of the Authorized Version. Although traditionally ascribed to King Solomon, many scholars date it as late as the 3d cent. BC It is in form a collection of love poems. Its preservation in the Jewish and Christian canon is due not to its universally admitted poetic beauty, but to the acceptance of it as an allegory or parable of God's love for Israel, or for the church, or for the soul that loves Him. Famous among such interpretations are St. Bernard of Clairvaux's 86 sermons on the book (tr. 1895) and St. Francis de Sales's explanation (tr. 1908).

See studies by G. T. Dickinson (1971) and C. Suares (1972).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2015, The Columbia University Press.

Song of Songs: Selected full-text books and articles

The Song of Songs: A Study, Modern Translation, and Commentary By Robert Gordis Jewish Theological Seminary of America, 1954
The Postilla of Nicholas of Lyra on the Song of Songs By James George Kiecker Marquette University Press, 1998
Origen By Rowan A. Greer Paulist Press, 1979
Librarian’s tip: Includes Origen's "An Exhortation to Martyrdom," "On Prayer, "On First Principles: Book IV," "The Prologue to the Commentary on The Song of Songs," and "Homily XXVII on Numbers"
Heresy and Authority in Medieval Europe: Documents in Translation By Edward Peters University of Pennsylvania Press, 1980
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 16 "St. Bernard: Sermon 65 on The Song of Songs, 1144"
Jewish Explorations of Sexuality By Jonathan Magonet Berghahn Books, 1995
Librarian’s tip: Includes "The Song of Songs: Eros and the Mystical Quest"
Genesis and Gender: Biblical Myths of Sexuality and Their Cultural Impact By William E. Phipps Praeger Publishers, 1989
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 6 "Paradise Continued"
Arator on the Acts of the Apostles: A Baptismal Commentary By Richard Hillier Clarendon Press, 1993
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 5 "Eunuchi Fecunda Fides: Gentiles, Sinners, and Song of Songs 1:5"
The Art of Biblical Poetry By Robert Alter Basic Books, 1985
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 8 "The Garden of Metaphor"
Feminist Poetics of the Sacred: Creative Suspicions By Frances Devlin-Glass; Lyn McCredden Oxford University Press, 2001
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 7 "'Merely a Love Poem'? Common Sense, Suspicion, and the Song of Songs"
With Reverence for the Word: Medieval Scriptural Exegesis in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam By Jane Dammen McAuliffe; Barry D. Walfish; Joseph W. Goering Oxford University Press, 2003
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 4 "Karaite Commentaries on the Song of Songs from Tenth-Century Jerusalem"
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