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Durham University

Department of English Studies

Staff

Academic Staff

Publication details for Dr Mandy Green

Green, Mandy (2015). Leaving the Garden: Re-visioning Eve in Poetry and Art. International Journal of Social, Political, and Community Agendas in the Arts 10(4): 33-52.

Author(s) from Durham

Abstract

With the Christian appropriation of the Hebrew creation story of Adam and Eve, eating the forbidden fruit assumed a momentous significance that had an enduring effect on the relationship between men and women, influencing ideas about human sexuality and gender for thousands of years. Eve was held directly responsible for dooming all her descendants to suffer the bitter consequences of the Fall. This view of Eve is reflected in theological discourse, and numerous paintings and poems through the centuries. Recently there have been some exciting shifts in perspective. Stripping away 2000 years of biblical commentary has revealed a more complex story that offers a range of alternative readings: read positively, it is a story of human aspiration. This article examines a selection of traditional representations of Eve together with a select number of poems and paintings that seem in the spirit of these new interpretative possibilities which are leading to a powerful re-visioning of Eve, her relationship to Adam and the significance of her role in the Garden.

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