Cover image for Eve & Adam : Jewish, Christian, and Muslim readings on Genesis and gender
Title:
Eve & Adam : Jewish, Christian, and Muslim readings on Genesis and gender
Author:
Kvam, Kristen E.
Publication Information:
Bloomington : Indiana University Press, [1999]

©1999
Physical Description:
xviii, 515 pages ; 24 cm
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780253334909

9780253212719
Format :
Book

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Status
Central Library BS1235.3 .E87 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating
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Summary

Summary

This anthology surveys more than 2,000 years of Jewish, Christian, and Muslim commentary and debate on the biblical story that continues to raise questions about what it means to be a man or to be a woman.


Summary

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.


Author Notes

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.


Reviews 4

Publisher's Weekly Review

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.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Choice Review

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. Almost 100 selections include illustrative interpretations about gender, representing various periods in the histories of these three traditions. Recent treatments, several written for this volume, are also included. Methodologically the study is organized around two competing worldviews: hierarchical and egalitarian. The various textual sources are set in context, often with commentaries provided. Editors Kvam (St. Paul School of Theology, Missouri), Schearing (Gonzaga Univ.), and Ziegler (DePauw Univ.) explore the complicated connections between text, interpretation, and social application that produce some intriguing insights about the social construction of religion and society. This volume illustrates that, while most of the interpretations of Genesis were used to justify discrimination and gender hierarchy, there was also--often beneath the surface--an egalitarian interpretive tradition. It also demonstrates that both interpretive traditions are alive and well today. A 13-page index completes this significant and useful collection of texts and commentaries--a "must" for libraries with holdings in religious, cultural, and gender studies. All academic levels. R. L. Massanari Alma College


Publisher's Weekly Review

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.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Choice Review

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. Almost 100 selections include illustrative interpretations about gender, representing various periods in the histories of these three traditions. Recent treatments, several written for this volume, are also included. Methodologically the study is organized around two competing worldviews: hierarchical and egalitarian. The various textual sources are set in context, often with commentaries provided. Editors Kvam (St. Paul School of Theology, Missouri), Schearing (Gonzaga Univ.), and Ziegler (DePauw Univ.) explore the complicated connections between text, interpretation, and social application that produce some intriguing insights about the social construction of religion and society. This volume illustrates that, while most of the interpretations of Genesis were used to justify discrimination and gender hierarchy, there was also--often beneath the surface--an egalitarian interpretive tradition. It also demonstrates that both interpretive traditions are alive and well today. A 13-page index completes this significant and useful collection of texts and commentaries--a "must" for libraries with holdings in religious, cultural, and gender studies. All academic levels. R. L. Massanari Alma College


Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
General Introduction
1 Hebrew Bible Accounts
Introduction Selections and Commentary
Genesis 1:1-2:4a
Genesis 2:4b-3:24
Genesis 4:1-4:2
Genesis 5:1-5:5
2 Jewish Postbiblical Interpretations (200s BCE-200 CE)
Introduction Apocrypha (Deuterocanon) and Pseudepigrapha
1 Enoch (c. 200s BCE) Sirach (c. 180 BCE) Jubilees (c. mid-100s BCE) Wisdom of Solomon (c. 30s BCE-100 CE) 2 Esdras (c. 100 CE)
2 Baruch (c. early 100s CE) Life of Adam and Eve (c. late 100s-400 CE)
Jewish Philosophers and Historians Philo, Questions and Answers on Genesis (c. 20s-40s CE)
Josephus, Jewish Antiquities (c. 90s CE)
3 Rabbinic Interpretations (200-600s CE)
Introduction Midrash Rabbah and Babylonian Talmud
Themes on Humankind+s Creation
Themes on the Disobedience
Themes on Adam and Eve after Eden
Themes on Humankind in the Post-Edenic World Targums
Targum Onqelos to Genesis (c. 100s)
Targum Pseudo-Jonathan: Genesis (pre 600)
4 Early Christian Interpretations (50-450 CE)
Introduction New Testament (c. 50-150 CE)
Egalitarian+ Texts 1 Corinthians 15:21-22
Galatians 3:27-28
Ephesians 4:22-24
Colossians 3:9-11
Hierarchical+ Texts 1 Corinthians 11:3-12 2
Corinthians 11:2-6
Ephesians 5:21-6:9 1
Timothy 2:8-15
Extracanonical Sources
The Gospel According to Thomas (c. 50-150)
The Gospel According to Philip (pre 350)
The Acts of Paul and Thecla (c. 100s)
Church Fathers Theophilus, -Apology to Autolycus+ (late 100s)
Anastasius Sinaita, Anagogicarum Contemplationum (c. 150-250)
Tertullian, -On the Apparel of Women+ (c. 202)
Origen, -Homilies on Genesis: 1 and 6+ (c. 240)
Ambrose, -Paradise+ (c. 375)
John Chrysostom, Homilies on Genesis (c. 386)
Augustine, The Literal Meaning of Genesis (begun c. 401)
5 Medieval Readings: Muslim, Jewish, and Christian (600-1500 CE)
Introduction Islam
The Qur+an (c. 610-632)
Surah 2, The Cow: 2:29-38, 222-223, 228
Surah 4, Women: 4:1, 3, 34-36, 116-120, 128-130
Surah 7, The Heights: 7:19-27, 189-190
Surah 15, Al-Hijr: 15:26-45
Surah 20, T0 H0: 20:115-123
Surah 23, The Believers: 23:12-14
Surah 24, Light: 24:30-33
Surah 30, The Romans: 30:20-22
Surah 49, The Private Apartments: 49:13
Muslim Interpretations Al-Tabari, Commentary on the Qur+an (c. late 800s)
Al-Kisa I, The Tales of the Prophets of al-KisaI (collected c. 1200)
Ibn Al+ Arabi, The Bezels of Wisdom (c. 1200s)
Judaism Midrashic Themes: The Fathers According to Rabbi Nathan (c. 600-700s)
Pirke de Rabbi Eliezer (c. 700-800s)
Alphabet of Ben Sira (c. 700-900s)
The Chronicle of Jerahmeel (c. 1300s)
Rashi, Commentary on the Pentateuch (c. late 100s)
Nahmanides, Commentary on the Torah (c. 1200s)
Maimonides, Guide for the Perplexed (c. late 1100s)
Isaac Kohen, Treatise on the Left Emanation (c. 1100s)
The Zohar, Bereshit (c. late 1200s)Christianity Thomas Aquinas
Summa Theologiae (begun c. 1260)Christine de Pizan
Letter of the God of Love (1399)Heinrich Kramer and James Sprenger and Malleus Maleficarum (1496)
6 Interpretations from the Protestant Reformation (1517-1700 CE)
Introduction Balthasar Hubmaier, Freedom of the Will (1527)Martin Luther
Lectures on Genesis (begun 1535)John Calvin
Commentaries on the First Book of Moses Called Genesis (c. 1555)Margaret Fell
Womens Speaking Justified, Proved and Allowed by the Scriptures (1666)John Milton
Paradise Lost (1667)
7 Societal Applications in the United States (1800s CE)
Introduction Antebellum Debates on Household Hierarchies Proslavery and Antislavery Views Fred A. Ross, Slavery Ordained of God (1857)Samuel B.
Howe, Slaveholding Not Sinful (1856)Josiah Priest
Bible Defence of Slavery (1851)
Acknowledgments
General Introduction
1 Hebrew Bible Accounts
Introduction Selections and Commentary
Genesis 1:1-2:4a
Genesis 2:4b-3:24
Genesis 4:1-4:2
Genesis 5:1-5:5
2 Jewish Postbiblical Interpretations (200s BCE-200 CE)
Introduction Apocrypha (Deuterocanon) and Pseudepigrapha
1 Enoch (c. 200s BCE) Sirach (c. 180 BCE) Jubilees (c. mid-100s BCE) Wisdom of Solomon (c. 30s BCE-100 CE) 2 Esdras (c. 100 CE)
2 Baruch (c. early 100s CE) Life of Adam and Eve (c. late 100s-400 CE)
Jewish Philosophers and Historians Philo, Questions and Answers on Genesis (c. 20s-40s CE)
Josephus, Jewish Antiquities (c. 90s CE)
3 Rabbinic Interpretations (200-600s CE)
Introduction Midrash Rabbah and Babylonian Talmud
Themes on Humankind+s Creation
Themes on the Disobedience
Themes on Adam and Eve after Eden
Themes on Humankind in the Post-Edenic World Targums
Targum Onqelos to Genesis (c. 100s)
Targum Pseudo-Jonathan: Genesis (pre 600)
4 Early Christian Interpretations (50-450 CE)
Introduction New Testament (c. 50-150 CE)
Egalitarian+ Texts 1 Corinthians 15:21-22
Galatians 3:27-28
Ephesians 4:22-24
Colossians 3:9-11
Hierarchical+ Texts 1 Corinthians 11:3-12 2
Corinthians 11:2-6
Ephesians 5:21-6:9 1
Timothy 2:8-15
Extracanonical Sources
The Gospel According to Thomas (c. 50-150)
The Gospel According to Philip (pre 350)
The Acts of Paul and Thecla (c. 100s)
Church Fathers Theophilus, -Apology to Autolycus+ (late 100s)
Anastasius Sinaita, Anagogicarum Contemplationum (c. 150-250)
Tertullian, -On the Apparel of Women+ (c. 202)
Origen, -Homilies on Genesis: 1 and 6+ (c. 240)
Ambrose, -Paradise+ (c. 375)
John Chrysostom, Homilies on Genesis (c. 386)
Augustine, The Literal Meaning of Genesis (begun c. 401)
5 Medieval Readings: Muslim, Jewish, and Christian (600-1500 CE)
Introduction Islam
The Qur+an (c. 610-632)
Surah 2, The Cow: 2:29-38, 222-223, 228
Surah 4, Women: 4:1, 3, 34-36, 116-120, 128-130
Surah 7, The Heights: 7:19-27, 189-190
Surah 15, Al-Hijr: 15:26-45
Surah 20, T0 H0: 20:115-123
Surah 23, The Believers: 23:12-14
Surah 24, Light: 24:30-33
Surah 30, The Romans: 30:20-22
Surah 49, The Private Apartments: 49:13
Muslim Interpretations Al-Tabari, Commentary on the Qur+an (c. late 800s)
Al-Kisa I, The Tales of the Prophets of al-KisaI (collected c. 1200)
Ibn Al+ Arabi, The Bezels of Wisdom (c. 1200s)
Judaism Midrashic Themes: The Fathers According to Rabbi Nathan (c. 600-700s)
Pirke de Rabbi Eliezer (c. 700-800s)
Alphabet of Ben Sira (c. 700-900s)
The Chronicle of Jerahmeel (c. 1300s)
Rashi, Commentary on the Pentateuch (c. late 100s)
Nahmanides, Commentary on the Torah (c. 1200s)
Maimonides, Guide for the Perplexed (c. late 1100s)
Isaac Kohen, Treatise on the Left Emanation (c. 1100s)
The Zohar, Bereshit (c. late 1200s)Christianity Thomas Aquinas
Summa Theologiae (begun c. 1260)Christine de Pizan
Letter of the God of Love (1399)Heinrich Kramer and James Sprenger and Malleus Maleficarum (1496)
6 Interpretations from the Protestant Reformation (1517-1700 CE)
Introduction Balthasar Hubmaier, Freedom of the Will (1527)Martin Luther
Lectures on Genesis (begun 1535)John Calvin
Commentaries on the First Book of Moses Called Genesis (c. 1555)Margaret Fell
Womens Speaking Justified, Proved and Allowed by the Scriptures (1666)John Milton
Paradise Lost (1667)
7 Societal Applications in the United States (1800s CE)
Introduction Antebellum Debates on Household Hierarchies Proslavery and Antislavery Views Fred A. Ross, Slavery Ordained of God (1857)Samuel B.
Howe, Slaveholding Not Sinful (1856)Josiah Priest
Bible Defence of Slavery (1851)

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