On March 16, 2010, Fairfield University welcomed author Reuven Kimelman, Ph.D., professor of Classical Judaica at Brandeis University, to campus for the Fourth Annual Jewish-Christian Engagement Lecture. The lecture, entitled “The Seduction of Eve: Why Did She Do It?” was held from 8 – 9:30 p.m. in the Dolan School of Business Dining Room, and was delivered to a fully packed audience of members from the University and greater communities.
There were many topics of discussion at this event, with speculative answers to age-old questions such as:
- What is the significance of the roles that the male and female play in this story?
- Is the story to be taken as an account of history or is it a parable?
- Is Eve’s post-seduction and fall a reflection on human nature, or is human nature more like the untouched, pre-sin Eve?
Dr. Kimelman held onto his audience with humor and wit, engaging audience members and encouraging responses to his discussion throughout the event. His broad topic range kept audience members upright in their seats, and people really began to speak up when he brought up the displacement of divine authority by humans and the differences in the way that Jews and Christians interpret the story of Adam and Eve.
Overall, the talk was thought-provoking and insightful, revealing both Jewish and Christian viewpoints. The audience did not leave disappointed, and walked away with greater knowledge of the story of Adam and Eve, the differences between Jewish and Christian interpretations, and the immense ambiguity and room for self-interpretation provided by the Bible.
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