The Triumph of Life

Brent A. Strawn

in The Bible and the Pursuit of Happiness

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780199795734
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199979691 | DOI:
The Triumph of Life

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This chapter moves toward a biblical theology of happiness by tracing the theme of the triumph of life in the Bible. The triumph of life is meant to be a thick description of happiness, one that includes real suffering and a mature view of life that recognizes the existence of true joy and pain. The triumph of life motif is showcased in the shape of the lament psalms and the Psalter as a whole, in the canonical shape of the Hebrew Bible itself, and in the canonical shape of the Christian Bible (comprising Old and New Testaments). The triumph of life motif helps explain some piece of the Bible that are otherwise hard to fit into any simplistic understanding of happiness: Job and James for instance. It also speaks to how happiness can and cannot be “pursued,” and has much to say against construals of happiness as found in much “Prosperity Gospel” thinking.

Keywords: happiness; biblical theology; Job; James; Psalms; Hebrew Bible; Christian Bible; pursuit of happiness; Prosperity Gospel

Chapter.  17773 words. 

Subjects: Biblical Studies

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