Interdisciplinary Journal of Research on ReligionInstitute for Studies of Relgion
IJRR :: 2020 Volume 16 :: Article 2
2020 Volume 16, Article 2
Wisdom, Masculinity, and Health in the Book of Proverbs

Author: Kojo Okyere (University of Cape Coast, Ghana)

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"Being a man" in today’s world is a challenging and confusing task. Culture and religion, the two main sources from which men construct their identities, now have an important addition: the popular media. How men perceive themselves, however, is important because it has repercussions for women with respect to how they relate with women. Indeed, emerging studies on masculinity show that perceptions of what it means "to be a man" equally affect men who may be at risk because of their disposition to life. Previous studies on masculinity in the Hebrew Bible largely isolate and explain the qualities or traits that embody the concept of maleness in ancient Israel. Apart from the social practice of sexual relations, most of the studies, however, are removed from social life practices of Israelite men. For instance, little is known about the relationship between masculinity and health within the Israelite society. Nevertheless, several profane studies indicate that among the factors that shape health related beliefs and behaviors is the sociocultural element of gender. This paper, therefore, departs from previous studies on masculinity in the Old Testament (Hebrew Bible), by exploring the relationship between wisdom genre (specifically Proverbs) and masculinity, and how they impinge on health.

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