Jerome’s Jewish Asceticism The Targum of Qohelet’s Influence on Jerome’s Theology of Asceticism in the "Commentary on Ecclesiastes" (thesis)
Washington and Lee University -- Honors in History
Jerome, Saint, -419 or 420
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Thesis; [FULL-TEXT FREELY AVAILABLE ONLINE]Bruce McCuskey is a member of the Class of 2016 of Washington and Lee University.This thesis examines Jerome’s engagement with Aramaic targumim, specifically the Targum of Qohelet. I survey the state of Hieronymian studies. I argue that Jerome’s theological work has been unfairly subordinated to his philological work. I then proceed to examine Jerome’s "Commentary on Ecclesiastes," setting it within the context of debates about asceticism in late fourth century Rome. I argue that Jerome used the Targum of Qohelet as an interpretive guide for his commentary, which I demonstrate through close textual analysis. The Targum showed him how to transform the cynical philosopher who speaks throughout the work into a model of Hieronymian asceticism.