Encountering Eve's Afterlives: A New Reception Critical Approach to Genesis 2-4

ISBN : 9780198842576

Holly Morse
256 ページ
156 x 234 mm
Oxford Theology and Religion Monographs

Encountering Eve's Alternative Afterlives: A New Reception Critical Approach to Genesis 2-4 aims to destabilise the persistently pessimistic framing of Eve as a highly negative symbol of femininity within Western culture by engaging with marginal, and even heretical, interpretations that focus on more positive aspects of her character. In doing so it questions the myth that orthodox, popular readings represent the 'true' meaning of Genesis 2-4, and explores the possibility that previously ignored or muted rewritings of Eve are in fact equally 'valid' interpretations of the biblical text.

By staging analytical and dialogic encounters between the biblical Eve and re-writings of her story, particularly those that help to challenge the interpretative status quo, this book re-frames the first woman using three key themes from her story: sin, knowledge, and life. Employing a method of ideological reception criticism, it considers how and why the image of Eve as a dangerous temptress has gained considerably more cultural currency than the equally viable pictures of her as a subversive wise woman or as a mourning mother.

The book thus offers a re-evaluation of the meanings and the myths of Eve, deconstructing the dominance of her cultural incarnation as a predominantly flawed female, and reconstructing a more nuanced and balanced presentation of the first woman's role in the Bible and her afterlives.


Gallery One Encountering Eve: A Guide

Gallery Two Sin

1 Eve and Sin in the Hebrew Bible

2 Ancient Intertexts

3 Jewish and Christian Reception of Eve as Anti-Intellect

4 Jewish and Christian reception of Eve as Sinful Mother

5 Concluding Comments

Gallery Three Knowledge

1 Eve and Knowledge in the Hebrew Bible

2 Ancient Intertexts

3 Gnostic Reception of Eve as a Figure of Knowledge

4 Postmodern Feminist Reception of Eve as a Figure of Knowledge

5 Concluding Comments

Gallery Four Life

1 Mother Eve in the Hebrew Bible

2 Ancient Intertexts

3 Mother Eve in the Visual Arts

4 Mother Eve in the Work of Pre-Twentieth Century Women Writers

5 Concluding Comments

Gallery Five Everywoman Eve



Dr Holly Morse is Lecturer in Bible, Gender and Culture at the University of Manchester. Her research interests include gender, visual arts, and the Bible, female biblical interpretation, and hermeneutics. Her doctoral thesis was on the biblical figure of Eve and her cultural reception, with a focus on marginalised readers and readings.