Title

Beyond Original Sin: Genesis on the Emergence of True Adulthood

About the Speaker

David M. Carr, Professor of Old Testament at Union Theological Seminary in New York is the author, most recently, of Holy Resilience: The Bible’s Traumatic Origins (Yale University Press, 2014) which retells the story of the emergence of the Bible and of Judaism and Christianity as a story of survival of trauma.

Streaming Media

Location

Fort Howard Theater, Bemis International Center

Start Date

4-4-2018 7:00 PM

Description

Dr. Carr's lecture: "Beyond Original Sin: Genesis on the Emergence of True Adulthood" will invite us to consider the transformative possibilities in the story of God’s creation of male and female humans in the Garden of Eden in Genesis 2-3. This story has, of course, been immensely influential in Western culture. Within Christianity it is often read as a story of an “original sin,” caused by the first woman, which inflicted suffering and mortality on humans forever after. More recently, many have interpreted the garden of Eden story as a positive story of human maturation. Dr. Carr’s lecture will offer a new reading of Genesis 2-3 as a subtle account of what it means to be a fully adult human, neither all good nor all bad. Though this biblical story, like some earlier Mesopotamian cosmogonies, tells the story of human maturation, it is a fraught maturation bought at the cost of angering God, losing a life in God’s sacred, well-watered garden, and living a hard life characterized by new forms of alienation and unavoidable mortality. Far from blaming the woman or endorsing patriarchy, Genesis 2-3 offers a subtle account of human fallibility and depicts gender hierarchy as a tragic consequence of broken human relations.

In Dr. Carr’s reading, the garden of Eden story provides an ambivalent picture of humanity, living outside the garden without the full measure of connectedness to each other and the earth that God intended. The story celebrates the ongoing potential of humans for such connection. At the same time it offers a remarkably farsighted picture of the irreversible, profound and often painful consequences that attend the human move toward full adulthood and civilized life.

David Carr

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Apr 4th, 7:00 PM

Beyond Original Sin: Genesis on the Emergence of True Adulthood

Fort Howard Theater, Bemis International Center

Dr. Carr's lecture: "Beyond Original Sin: Genesis on the Emergence of True Adulthood" will invite us to consider the transformative possibilities in the story of God’s creation of male and female humans in the Garden of Eden in Genesis 2-3. This story has, of course, been immensely influential in Western culture. Within Christianity it is often read as a story of an “original sin,” caused by the first woman, which inflicted suffering and mortality on humans forever after. More recently, many have interpreted the garden of Eden story as a positive story of human maturation. Dr. Carr’s lecture will offer a new reading of Genesis 2-3 as a subtle account of what it means to be a fully adult human, neither all good nor all bad. Though this biblical story, like some earlier Mesopotamian cosmogonies, tells the story of human maturation, it is a fraught maturation bought at the cost of angering God, losing a life in God’s sacred, well-watered garden, and living a hard life characterized by new forms of alienation and unavoidable mortality. Far from blaming the woman or endorsing patriarchy, Genesis 2-3 offers a subtle account of human fallibility and depicts gender hierarchy as a tragic consequence of broken human relations.

In Dr. Carr’s reading, the garden of Eden story provides an ambivalent picture of humanity, living outside the garden without the full measure of connectedness to each other and the earth that God intended. The story celebrates the ongoing potential of humans for such connection. At the same time it offers a remarkably farsighted picture of the irreversible, profound and often painful consequences that attend the human move toward full adulthood and civilized life.