Eve and Adam: Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Readings on Genesis and Gender

Overview

"The editors have performed a great service in making widely available a documentary history of the interpretation of the Eve and Adam story." —Publishers Weekly

"This fascinating volume examines Genesis 1-3 and the different ways that Jewish, Christian, and Muslim interpreters have used these passages to define and enforce gender roles.... a 'must'... " —Choice

"Wonderful! A marvelous introduction to the ways in which the three major Western religious traditions are both like, and unlike one another." —Ellen ...

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Overview

"The editors have performed a great service in making widely available a documentary history of the interpretation of the Eve and Adam story." —Publishers Weekly

"This fascinating volume examines Genesis 1-3 and the different ways that Jewish, Christian, and Muslim interpreters have used these passages to define and enforce gender roles.... a 'must'... " —Choice

"Wonderful! A marvelous introduction to the ways in which the three major Western religious traditions are both like, and unlike one another." —Ellen Umansky, Fairfield University

No other text has affected women in the western world as much as the story of Eve and Adam. This remarkable anthology surveys more than 2,000 years of Jewish, Christian, and Muslim commentary and debate 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 the Qur’an, from Thomas Aquinas to medieval Jewish commentaries, from Christian texts to 19th-century antebellum slavery writings, and on to pieces written especially for this volume.

Indiana University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In western culture and religion, the Genesis story of Eve and Adam has established and dominated views about gender roles. A long history of interpretation of Genesis 1-3 exists in all three of the great monotheistic religions. In this anthology, the editors have gathered primary documents from each of these traditions to examine this history of interpretation. Each section contains a brief historical essay that sets the readings in context, and the editors briefly introduce the individual writings. Chapter 1 offers selections from Genesis 1-5. Chapter 2 provides documents of Jewish post-biblical interpretation, including apocryphal texts like Sirach and pseudepigraphical texts like the Life of Adam and Eve. 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 for her." Chapter 4 contains early Christian interpretations ranging from biblical texts 1 Corinthians 15:21-22 to the theological writings of Tertullian and Augustine. Chapter 5 collects readings of the story from the Middle Ages, including various readings from the Qur'an and commentaries by Islamic theologians. The writings of Martin Luther and other Protestant reformers on Eve and the role of woman are gathered in Chapter 6. The writings in Chapter 7 demonstrate the ways that various 19th-century American social movements, like abolition and women's suffrage, and new religious groups, like the Shakers and the Christian Scientists, interpreted the Genesis story. The final chapter includes writings from 20th-century Christians, Jews and Muslims demonstrating that the debate about the meanings of Genesis 1-3 is far from over. The editors have performed a great service in making widely available a documentary history of the interpretation of the Eve and Adam story. Mar.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780253212719
  • Publisher: Indiana University Press
  • Publication date: 10/1/2009
  • Edition number: 7
  • Pages: 536
  • Sales rank: 825,234
  • Product dimensions: 6.12 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 1.27 (d)

Meet the Author

KRISTEN E. KVAM teaches at the Saint Paul School of Theology in Kansas City.
LINDA S. SCHEARING is a professor in the Religious Studies department at Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA.
VALARIE H. ZIEGLER is a professor in the department of Religious Studies at DePauw University in Greencastle, IN. She is author of The Advocates of Peace in Antebellum America.

Indiana University Press

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
General Introduction
1. Hebrew Bible Accounts
2. Jewish Postbiblical Interpretations (200s BCE-200 CE)
3. Rabbinic Interpretations (200-600s CE)
4. Early Christian Interpretations (50-450 CE)
New Testament (c. 50-150 CE)
Extracanonical Sources
Church Fathers
5. Medieval Readings: Muslim, Jewish, and Christian (600-1500 CE)
Islam
The Qur’an (c. 610-632)
Muslim Interpretations
Judaism
Midrashic Themes
Christianity
6. Interpretations from the Protestant Reformation (1517-1700 CE)
7. Societal Applications in the United States (1800s CE)
Antebellum Debates on Household Hierarchies
Women Make the Case for Equality
New Religious Movements on Gender Relations
8. Twentieth Century Readings: The Debates Continue
Hierarchical Interpretations
Egalitarian Interpretations
Appendix: The Preadamite Theory and the Christian Identity Movement: Race and Genesis 1-3 at the Turn of the Millennium
Index

Indiana University Press

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