Gender and Sexuality in the Garden of Eden

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Abstract

Various attempts have been made to argue that the plain meaning of the story of the Garden of Eden in Genesis 2-3 supports a feminist, or at least a woman-friendly, understanding of the gender and sexual relationships between Adam and Eve. I counter that these arguments are not convincing and are hard to square with the biblical text, by considering four central elements in the story: (1) The sexual nature of ha'adam, Adam/ the earthling at the start of our story; (2) God's ‘curse’ of Eve; (3) The meaning of the woman being a ‘helper’ to Adam; and (4) Adam's naming of the woman. I conclude that the most plausible meaning of these chapters is that Adam dominates Eve sexually and otherwise from the very moment of Eve's creation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)319-335
Number of pages17
JournalTheology and Sexuality
Volume12
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2006

Keywords

  • Adam
  • Eve
  • Garden of Eden
  • Phyllis Bird
  • Phyllis Trible
  • feminist interpretation
  • patriarchy in the Bible
  • sexuality in the Bible

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