Abstract

By eschewing any global or totalizing theory or approach, and by appreciating the diverse uses of different theories and approaches, the author has been able to adopt and adapt a variety of strategies in reading texts and in presenting them in his teaching. After summarizing a constructive, fairly conventional reading of Genesis 1 within its larger context in the Torah, he begins to challenge and deconstruct the conventional reading, in which Creation is regarded as harmonious and good. According to the constructive reading of the early chapters of Genesis, evil is introduced into the world by corrupt humanity. The brief episode in Gen. 6:1-4, which may be viewed from a deconstructive perspective not as marginal but as key, places the blame for the corruption leading to the Flood on the sons of God, in the divine, not the human, realm. A deconstruction of Genesis 1 reveals that God--whose Hebrew name denotes power and not goodness-- is responsible for the evil introduced into Creation and that the phrase "God saw that it was good," which functions as a refrain in the first Creation story in Genesis, does not indicate that Creation is morally good but rather God's pleasure with Creation. The deconstructive interpretation is found equally to be Torah because questioning the inherent goodness of the created world is a view that one finds in classical rabbinic midrash as well, and because it may better account for our experience of reality.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-3311
Print ISSN
0272-9601
Pages
pp. 1-22
Launched on MUSE
2001-01-01
Open Access
No
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