Albert Camus contributed greatly to the realm of philosophy with the promotion of absurdism—the school of thought hinging on the belief in the “absurd.” Essentially the divorce between man’s desire for meaning and the universe devoid of meaning, the absurd is the dominating theme of his works. Three millennia beforehand in the Hebrew Bible, the rich discourse of Qohelet was recorded as the book of Ecclesiastes. Qohelet, a word simply meaning teacher, concludes that all is “vanity,” or in Hebrew, “hebel.” This central notion of hebel permeates his discourse on the essence of life here on earth. This article examines the unmistakable parallels between the Camusian absurd and the hebel reality observed by Qohelet as well as their starkly contrasted responses to the human condition. I argue that through their works, one can learn how the individual's answer to the absurd is the defining quality of each person's life.
Sanchez, Christian A.
"Qohelet and Camus: Answering the Absurd,"
Global Tides: Vol. 12
, Article 6.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.pepperdine.edu/globaltides/vol12/iss1/6