Chapter

The Ground of Being

William P. Brown

in The Seven Pillars of Creation

Published in print January 2010 | ISBN: 9780199730797
Published online May 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199777075 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199730797.003.0004
The Ground of Being

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The topic is the Garden of Eden in Genesis 2:4b-3:24, the Yahwist account of creation. In contrast to the God of Genesis 1, the God of the Garden is a down-to-earth deity who improvises and sometimes fails in the act of creating. This “low” view of God is matched by humankind’s portrayal as a “groundling,” a product of God’s work with dirt, in contrast to the “image of God” portrayal in Genesis 1. Written in view of ancient Israel’s mixed experience with monarchy, the Garden narrative focuses on the human family and its rise to power. As such, it invites dialogue with the anthropological account of human evolution, the human tree of life. Both accounts affirm the common ground of biological life and the challenging transitions that have shaped humanity’s development and ascendancy in creation. Evolutionary science reinterprets the account of the “Fall” of humanity in powerfully ecological ways.

Keywords: Yahwist; evolution; Fall; garden; Eden; Adam; God; ground; dirt; ecology; tree of life

Chapter.  15741 words. 

Subjects: Biblical Studies

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