Forming Femininity in Antiquity: Eve, Gender, and Ideologies in the Greek Life of Adam and Eve

ISBN : 9780199837779

Vita Daphna Arbel
256 Pages
147 x 217 mm
Pub date
Feb 2012
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In Forming Femininity in Antiquity, Vita Daphna Arbel investigates depictions of the emblematic Eve that are embedded in one of the most influential accounts of Adam and Eve after the Hebrew Bible, namely the apocryphal Greek Life of Adam and Eve (GLAE) from antiquity. Treating the figure of Eve as a culturally constructed representation of "woman," Arbel examines a crucial transformative stage in the literary and conceptual discourse of Eve, with a focus on several pivotal issues that have not been looked at in previous scholarship. She offers a nuanced analysis of the GLAE's multifaceted and at times contradictory portrayals of Eve and, by extension, women. She also situates these depictions in the hybrid Greco-Roman cultural world in which they emerged, and discusses the extent to which they both reflect and construct contemporaneous overlapping and competing concepts and norms regarding Eve/women's standing, role, authority, and realms of experiences. Finally, Arbel examines how the GLAE's representations of Eve/women resonate with later Jewish and Christian traditions, which often characterize the figure of Eve in accordance with views that are embedded in the GLAE, rather than in Genesis.


Introduction: Traditions of Eve in Antiquity: The Greek Life of Adam and Eve
Chapter One: Eve and the Fallen Angels: Traditions of the First Sin
Chapter Two: Representations of Eve: Forming Femininity
Chapter Three: Eve and the Account of Adam's Demise: Social Performances of Death
Chapter Four: The Visions of Eve, Conceptualizations of Women, and Parallel Discourses
Conclusion: The GLAE's Eve: Multivocality, Women in Antiquity, and Paradigms of Womanhood

About the author: 

Vita Daphna Arbel is Associate Professor of Biblical and Early Jewish Literature and Mysticism at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.

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