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Hermeneutics and Unity in and after Scripture 2021: Genesis 3

When: June 11, 2021, 9:00 am - Friday

Where: Swang 232

Session 6

Session Abstract

The “Hermeneutics and Unity in and after Scripture” session explores the hermeneutics involved in inner-biblical exegesis, Second Temple Judaism, and the earliest Christian centuries. To do so, the session investigates topics like the Old Testament’s (re)working of existing tradition, the New Testament’s interpretation of the Old, as well as reception of both testaments in extra-biblical sources from Second Temple Judaism and early Christianity. Across this literature, focused attention is given to the nature of the hermeneutic employed to protect and foster continued unity within the interpreting communities whose readings are examined. This session includes invited papers that treat Gen 3.


Paper Abstracts

Kevin J. Youngblood, Harding University, “Seven Faces of Eve”

Holly Morse’s new book, Encountering Eve’s Afterlives, provides a thorough and insightful account of the reception of the character of Eve in the Judeo-Christian tradition. Yet, despite the breadth of her work, there are three omissions that this paper seeks to address. Building on Morse’s framework and methodology, this study adds the reception trajectories of Eve-church typology, Eve as priest, and Eve in Islamic tradition.


Justin Rogers, Freed-Hardeman University, “Biblical Mythology, Minimalism, and the Serpent of Genesis 3: Inner-Jewish Apologetics in Philo of Alexandria”

This paper discusses Philo’s attempt to address a “minimalist” approach to scriptural credibility among Alexandrian Jews. We will first survey Philo’s own seemingly contradictory approach to biblical “myth,” and then discuss his treatment of objections to the credibility of the biblical narrative, using the serpent (Gen 3) as an example. We will attempt to show that Philo utilizes the allegorical method as an apologetic tool to rescue the credibility of scripture and foster a unity of faith among Alexandrian Jews.


Alden Bass, Oklahoma Christian University, “Refractive Disorder: A Re-visionist Reading of Augustine’s Teaching on the Edenic Curse”

Sight is one of the most powerful and enduring metaphors within Augsutine’s Confessions. After his conversion, Augustine saw his past in a new light, the light of grace. Until that point, his perspective had been distorted by the sins of lust, curiosity, and ambition. I propose that we can use Augustine’s method to re-read the curse narrative of Genesis 3 as a similar distortion of vision rather than as a punitive “curse” which deformed Eve’s body and the earth. Such a reading offers new possibilities for our understanding of sin, the human person, and salvation.


David Stark, Faulkner University, Convener

  • Kevin Youngblood, Harding University, "The Seven Faces of Eve: A Reception History of the Creation and Vocation of the Archetypal Woman"
  • Justin Rogers, Freed-Hardeman University, "Biblical Mythology, Minimalism, and the Serpent of Genesis 3: Inner-Jewish Apologetics in Philo of Alexandria"
  • Alden Bass, Oklahoma Christian University, "Refractive Disorder: A Re-visionist Reading of Augustine's Teaching on the Edenic Curse"
  • Laura Locke Estes, Pepperdine University, Respondent

Join us in 2024!

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James Cone with conferee at the CSC in 2017

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Pulitzer Prize winner Marilynne Robinson delivering the CSC plenary address

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Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), delivering the CSC plenary address.

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US Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith delivering the CSC plenary address

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David Brooks engaging conferees during breakfast at the CSC

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