Thursday, May 9, 2013

Rescuing the Book of Genesis from the Fundamentalists

Watch the video, Misreading Genesis, where Father Barron talks about the problem of treating Genesis as a science text. People need to be aware of the genre of what they read. The author of Genesis did not intend to write a science textbook. In fact, modern science as we know it did not even exist until the late 16th or early 17th  century.  Rather, Genesis is a great humanistic text.

In almost all of the ancient cosmologies and creation myths, order results from a conquest or act of great violence. In contrast, in Genesis, the world is created through a non-violent act of speech. Further, [my assertion] the creation of Adam and Eve as the pinnacle of creation and in the image of God show the exalted value of humanity.
"God has imbued all things with intelligibility. Adam, noticing the intelligibility, names them, gives them their proper title. Who is he? The church fathers read him as the first scientist. He is the first philosopher. He is the human being in his proper role as the steward of creation and the one who names and orders all things according to God's creative intention." 
"Adam and Eve who are kind of, 'at play in the fields of the Lord:' That stands for science, for art, for politics for conversation, for friendships--all these forms of human flourishing, under the Lordship of God."
  No, Genesis is not an attempt at science but an exquisite theological reflection on the origin of all things.

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