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Adam Alone In Paradise. A Jewish-Christian Exegesis And Its Implications For The History Of Asceticism

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Chapter Summary

This chapter illustrates a case of interdependence between exegesis, ecclesiology and the theology of asceticism in the first four centuries CE. It focuses on a Christian adoption of a Jewish explanation of God's command to Adam to work and to guard Paradise in Genesis 2:15. It then shows that some approaches to this Jewish legacy may to a certain extent have depended upon the dynamics of the development of the ascetical movement. The two main pieces of evidence are taken from 'The Word of the Saint Barsabas, archbishop of Jerusalem, about our Saviour Jesus Christ, the Churches [and about the chief priests]' as well as from a letter to the monks probably written by the fourth century Egyptian bishop, St. Serapion of Thmuis.

Keywords: Adam; Asceticism; Genesis; Jerusalem; Jewish-Christian exegesis; Paradise; Saint Barsabas; St. Serapion of Thmuis



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