Monday, April 6, 2009

Feminists Theology: Genesis 2-3

Genesis 2-3 is known as “The Fall Story.” It is called this because historically it has been seen as humanities fall from God’s grace. It has been used to show “when” human sin began. In this story God creates Adam and decides he needs a partner and creates Eve from Adam’s rib. In the end of this story, after they eat a piece of fruit of the tree of wisdom, God bans Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden. God also punishes the man by forcing him to till his own land and giving the woman pain during child birth, and punishes the serpent by cursing him to travel on his belly and be wacked by the woman. We have all heard this story. We all know that Eve is this awful woman and since her time women have been seen as the evil bearers of her unfaithfulness. I have a different theory.
Let’s spend some time writing down words that we usually think of when we think of Eve.
(Evil, Sin, Seductive, Bad… etc.)
Let’s review the creation story in Genesis 2. What is going on in this story?
I would like to call attention to when God said not to eat from the tree of knowledge. Who was God speaking to? Was God speaking to Adam AND Eve? No. God was talking to Adam alone. God had not yet made Eve in this story.
I would also like to talk about why God chose to make Eve out of Adam’s rib. Where is the rib located on the body? The side. God specifically chose a part from the side of Adam’s body. God did not choose something from Adam’s head. God did not choose something from Adam’s foot. God is saying that Eve is not above you, Eve is not below you. Eve is equal with you. You two will be partners, side by side in everything you do. God does not punish Adam because he didn’t take care of his property. God punished Adam because he played a part in the disobedience. They are partners in crime.
I would also like to call attention to verse 3:6. “So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate.” (NRSV) Eve was not alone here. Adam was there with her. She did not force him to eat. She handed it to him and he ate. If we see that Eve is not a temptress herself and her husband had a part in this whole story, how does that change our perception of her?
If our perceptions of Eve change, how does our perception of all women change?
Women are no longer seen as subservient to men. They are equal players in their relationships.

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