Eve and Adam by Kristen E. Kvam
Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Readings on Genesis and Gender

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"Wonderful! A marvelous introduction to the ways in which the three major Western religious traditions are both like, and unlike one another. Scholars will be familiar with many of the texts, while others will be both new and of enormous interest...The truth is Genesis 1-3 and its subsequent chapters are so rich, so complex, and so problematic on the subject of gender, that just reading the biblical text is sufficient to start engaged, even heated, discussion. As the field of Religious Studies becomes more specialized, and the focus of scholarly works increasingly narrow, anthologies such as "Genesis and Gender" remind us that the interpretation and impact of religious texts can be astonishingly broad, extending well beyond the communities they initially addressed". ""Genesis and Gender" enables us to read, or reread, Genesis 1-3 through a variety of religious lenses that underscore both the interconnectedness and uniqueness of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Easily accessible to scholars, it also has great potential for use as a college or university text." - Ellen Umansky, Fairfield University. No other text has affected women in the western world as much as the story of Eve and Adam. The story has engendered countless commentaries, has been used to argue the "fallen" nature of humankind or to explain or exploit relations between the sexes, and has played a key role in justifying the ways of God toward man and woman. This remarkable anthology surveys more than 2,000 years of Jewish, Christian, and Muslim commentary on the biblical story that continues to raise fundamental questions about what it means to be a man or to be a woman. The selections range widely from early postbiblical interpretations in the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha to three commentaries written especially for this volume. The editors have included early rabbinic texts, interpretations from the New Testament, and commentaries from the Church Fathers. There are excerpts from the Qur'an, from medieval Jewish commentaries, from Thomas Aquinas and other later figures, as well as representative texts of the Protestant Reformation. One section focuses on nineteenth-century America and the antebellum debate on slavery, the struggle for women's equality, and new religious movements such as Shakerism and Christian Science. Twentieth century texts from all three traditions conclude the volume. A special appendix focuses on race and Genesis 1-3 at the turn of the new millennium. The tale told through these texts is a remarkable one of the hold the story of Eve and Adam has had on the western imagination. The editors note that though the biblical account has been invoked throughout history to justify all manner of oppression, there is an equally rich tradition of egalitarian interpretation, well-represented in this book. Far from a collection of lifeless, historical documents, these texts are lively representatives of a debate that continues to animate men and women to this day.
 

About Kristen E. Kvam

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Published June 1, 1999 by Indiana Univ Pr. 515 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Religion & Spirituality, Education & Reference, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

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Chapter 3 contains rabbinic interpretations of Genesis 1-3, including midrashim like the one attributed to Rabbi Joshua ben Karhah: ""It teaches you through what sin that wicked creature inveigled them, because he saw them engaged in their natural function, he [the serpent] conceived a passion fo...

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